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Sunday, Jan 2, 2011County: Marion
» Eduardo Cruz-Arvizu
» Oswaldo Cibrian
» Jose Rubio Dela Cruz
The sheriff's office seized nine horses Sunday that had resorted to eating wooden fencing to survive.
The horses are alive and being fed a special diet of warm water, molasses and small amounts of hay. They are all in warm stalls, blanketed, and fed three to four times daily with fresh clean water, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.
The horses' medical needs are being attended to daily, and they are receiving brushing and affection from volunteers at the United SPCA shelter in Yamhill, Ore.
Eduardo Cruz-Arvizu, 26, Oswaldo Cibrian, 24, and Jose Rubio Dela Cruz, 42, all of Woodburn, were charged with nine counts of Animal Neglect as a result of the investigation. Their court date is set for Feb. 7, 2011.
The investigation began in late December when neighbors called to report the horses in a field at Crosby Road NE and North Arney Road in Woodburn.
>>>See Photos of the Horses
Neighbors said the horses had been left in the field several months ago with little attention being paid to them.
Two stallions were locked in a small shed, separated from the other horses, but with little room for movement.
Many parts of the field were under water, with other areas in 6 inches to a foot of mud.
There were no sources of food in the field and little shelter available to them. Callers said the horses were eating the wooden fencing to survive.
During his initial investigation, Deputy Pete Marcellais learned that a neighbor had placed an ad on Craigslist asking for donations to feed the animals. Frustrated at seeing the neglected horses, she decided to take action.
The Craigslist ad caught the attention of several experts with resources needed to address the issue. Representatives from The United SPCA, Forest Trails Horse Relief in Sheridan, Rescue Blankets in Sandy and Sound Equine Options in Estacada came forward to offer their services.
Ultimately, Marcellais was able to identify and locate three owners for the horses. The men told the deputy they were raising the horses to enter them in rodeos, but also admitted that the care of the horses was lacking.
One owner said he was feeding them, but admitted he only gave them fescue straw that had little or no nutritional value, according to the sheriff's office.
They gave consent to have the horses examined by Dr. Barbara Kahl, who is an equine veterinarian with experience in cruelty and neglect cases. Dr. Kahl is also the President of United SPCA in Yamhill.
Following a preliminary examination, all nine horses were seized and transported to United SPCA shelter in Yamhill where tests were conducted to determine their health.
Dr. Kahl's initial body-condition assessment of the horses resulted in a rating between 1 and 2 on a 1-9 scale, with 1 being the worst condition and 9 being the best.
Dr. Kahl said Tuesday that all of the horses are in depressed states suffering from severe malnutrition.
Veterinary exams found they suffered from hoof abscesses, rain rot, ear mites, skin sores on lower legs, gingival abscesses and severe dehydration.
They also displayed flaccid muscles that could barely hold their weight and swollen limbs from infection and lack of appropriate nutrition. Lab results on blood samples are pending.
The extent of how these conditions will affect the horses in the future is not yet known at this time.
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