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Monday, May 19, 2008County: Bingham
Alleged: Leonard Tachera
Area police are asking for donations of hay that will be used to feed eight horses that belonged to a man charged with eight counts of neglect and cruelty to animals.
Police say the horses are now healthy and "looking good," but hay is running low at the undisclosed location where they are being cared for.
Bingham County Sheriff's Office Capt. Mark Cowley said any donation of hay would greatly help the horses and the sheriff's office. "With the price of hay being so high right now, anything people can donate would be great," Cowley said.
"Even last year's hay would be just fine-whatever people can give," he said. To arrange a hay donation, call Kay Monson at the Bingham County Sherriff's Office at 208-785-4440.
The sheriff's office needs enough hay to feed the horses until court staff decide what to do with the recovering animals, Cowley said. He estimated the amount of hay they will need at four tons.
Police may have a better idea of how much hay they will need after Leonard Tachera appears in court July 31 for his pre-trial hearing at the Bingham County Courthouse.
Animal Control Officer Janet Gay said she responded to a report of animal neglect May 19 at a Pingree property where Tachera cared for 12 horses.
Gay said she observed that the horses appeared skinny, and Tachera said he was feeding the animals, but they did not gain any weight due to the fact that they had worms.
Gay returned to the horses three days later and did not find horse feed on the property so she ordered a body conditioning study to be conducted by staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eight of the 12 horses scored between 1 and 2.5.
Gay said the desired body conditioning score for a horse is between 4 and 6, and the score ranges from 1 to 10. "They were extremely thin," Gay said, adding that the animals' ribs were clearly visible.
Cowley said Tachera has moved away from the Pingree area, and he may be living near the border of Idaho and Oregon. The location of Tachera's four horses deemed healthy is unknown.
The eight horses might be auctioned off after Tachera answers the eight counts of animal cruelty and neglect, Cowley said.
- Blackfeet Morning News - July 28, 2008
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