Horses, mule, dogs seized from Rochester residence

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has seized five horses, a miniature mule and a number of dogs that were living in unsafe conditions at a Rochester residence.

Thurston County Chief Criminal Deputy James Chamberlain said the investigation on Elderberry Street in Rochester was initiated Thursday after a neighbor’s complaint.

The animals were living in feces and were in need of care. Deputies discovered there was no water or electricity at the residence, and there appeared to be a number of feral cats there, Chamberlain said.

John Countryman, president of Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County, said that one of the horses was lame and could hardly walk. The horses are not malnourished, Countryman said. They will be taken care of by Hooved Animal Rescue until a judge makes a ruling.

Chamberlain said that in recent months, deputies have been inundated with calls about neglected animals, possibly due to the bad economy. “We’ve been getting (calls) almost on a weekly basis,” Chamberlain said.

Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Debra Eurich said she will pursue misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against the owner of the horses and dogs. As of Tuesday, charges had not yet been filed.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465