Auditor Julie Anderson said authorities confiscated 29 horses by Wednesday evening but were forced to abandoned their efforts when it got too dark. Ten horses remained overnight, and animal control officers returned today to get them, Anderson said.
The remaining horses, including a number of stallions, are particularly skittish and hard to handle, she said.
The county has called in expert horse handlers to help transport the animals to an undisclosed location and to assist veterinarians and farriers in treating them, Anderson said this afternoon.
Pierce County animal control officers, assisted by other agencies, raided the ranch after receiving word a number of horses there were suffering neglect. They found animals in poorly lit and inadequately ventilated barns, Anderson said. Many of the animals appeared thin, and some were suffering from untreated injuries, she said. Some stalls contained a mix of manure and urine more than a foot thick.
Anderson said the county does not need help with boarding or feeding the animals at this time. Donations of wheelbarrows and muck rakes would be appreciated, she said.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can email the Pierce County Auditors Office at email@example.com.