Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18884
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: horse
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Monday, Aug 29, 2011

County: Anoka

Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 1 files available

Alleged: Lowell George Friday

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Humane Society agents want to seize as many as ten more horses from an East Bethel, Minnesota horse breeder first investigated by FOX 9 back in 2007.

Lowell Friday, a 72-year-old who lives just outside East Bethel, agreed to surrender two horses Monday. The Animal Humane Society wants a court order so they can take eight more in the next day or two.

Lowell Friday's farm first came to our attention four years ago and a FOX 9 investigation revealed horses that were horribly underfed. Friday pled guilty to an animal neglect charge in August 2009, which led to one year of probation -- but horse activists and rescuers say nothing has changed.

"This has gone on since the early 80s," said Gina Benson, of Wisconsin Equine Rescue. "We have pictures, showing these horses living in this hell." says Gina Benson of the Wisconsin Equine Rescue.

Through Facebook, Benson organized for dozens of horse lovers to descend on Friday's farm on Monday morning with trailers at the ready to take horses into foster care.

After spending several hours at Friday's farm, Humane Investigator Keith Streff initially said only two horses met the criteria to be legally seized. Horses are rated on a scale of one to nine, and only those two horses came in at a two, which means they are shockingly malnourished.

However, investigators say a vet had identified eight more horses that rated a three on that scale, and they would ask a judge to allow them to seize those additional horses on Tuesday.

Rescuers hoped all would be taken, insisting that the horses have been mistreated for far too long, but Streff said it's not that simple.

"I know that having worked in this field for over 20 years that there are a lot of horses that are not in the shape that I would like to keep them," said Streff, "but the state doesn't consider them criminal and won't authorize me to seize them."


Case Updates

The University of Minnesota is helping 10 horses recover after they were seized from an East Bethel farm that has become the focus of an animal neglect investigation.

Veterinarians say the animals were literally starving to death on Lowell Friday's farm. Now, they are working to get the horses back to health without making them even sicker.

"They were quite weak when they arrived," said Dr. Anna Firschman, with the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Medical Center.

A 20-year-old Cremello named IRS should weigh about 1,000 pounds. Instead, she weighs in near 700, leaving her ribs and pelvic bones visible through her skin.

The staff at the university are feeding her and the other horses every other hour in an effort to bring them back to health.

"If you feed them too quickly, they can get sick and die," explained Firschman. "That's why they are here - so we can watch for that syndrome."

Animal Humane Society investigators seized two of the horses on Monday, and took eight more on Wednesday after neighbors complained the animals there were wasting away.

"It would seem odd that a reasonable person would allow an animal in their possession to deteriorate to the point where it's hazardous to their health, but we see it all the time," said Keith Streff, with AHS.

The horses' owner has insisted that the horses are fine, blaming the attention on city slickers and animal rights groups.

Some of the horses seized have parasites that may be contributing to their emaciated condition, but veterinarians say that with good care and lots of hay, they should be back in good health by the end of the year.
Source: myfoxtwincities.com - Sep 1, 2011
Update posted on Nov 24, 2011 - 1:55PM 

References


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