Case Snapshot
Case ID: 15874
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse, dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009

County: McCook

Disposition: Not Charged

Person of Interest: Thomas Dykshorn

Twelve horses were seized Wednesday morning from a farm three miles east of Spencer by animal rescue officials from Sioux Falls.

Eleven horses were taken to Second Chance Rescue Center, with one needing more veterinary care at Dakota Large Animal Clinic near Harrisburg. McCook County Sheriff Mark Norris and a deputy provided security for the seizure, which took one to one-and-a-half hours and occurred without incident at the acreage of Thomas Dykshorn, 25217 434th Ave.

Charges have not been filed against Dykshorn. No arrest warrant was issued for him because State’s Attorney Roger Gerlach needs to see reports first, Norris said.

“It’s up to him to see who or what would be charged,” Norris said.

Dana Wigg, Second Chance humane officer, said the majority of horses seized had protruding ribs, vertebrae and hip bones.

“The only food they had was hay that wasn’t accessible to any horses,” she said. “There was mold growing in it and on top.”

One required additional veterinary care because its eyeball was punctured and had to be removed, Wigg said. That will leave the animal partially blind, she said.

This is the rescue center’s third major animal rescue in the past six weeks. The first occurred Sept. 2 with 172 dogs near Hurley. Second Chance took six horses, five dogs and three rabbits into custody on Sept. 18 from a home in Emery.

Wigg said she didn’t think animal abuse or neglect is being reported more often, but that reports to the center end up posing a huge concern. She also has noticed that ani- mal caregivers are getting in over their head.

“I think people are … not realizing the responsibility once you acquire something,” she said. “You can’t just not feed them or leave something. That is not acceptable.”

Norris cited the economy as a reason.

“It takes a lot of money to feed those horses. Sometimes they don’t have it,” he said, referring to caretakers.

Norris said he received an anonymous call on Oct. 6 from a concerned person who saw a stray dog at a rural home east of town and thought it belonged to a neighbor.

Wigg met with Wayne Moen, McCook County sheriff ’s deputy, to pick up the dog, which had protruding ribs and prominent hip bones, that afternoon from Dykshorn’s acreage, court documents said.

They also found another dog with the left side of its head collapsed, swollen-shut left eye, indented skull and a nose that was cut, crooked and bleeding.

Six to seven horses in one pen had visible ribs beneath their skin and three had bleeding legs. All eight in this pen did not have troughs of feed or water.

Three horses in a smaller pen, which was flooded with water and muddy, had no food but did have water. One horse’s ribs were visible. Two underweight horses were in a third pen, and two others stood in a fourth pen that were too far away to be photographed, court documents said.

Wigg took the dogs to All City Pet Care West in Sioux Falls.


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