A hearing in Eastland decided the fate of 19 horses found in Ranger on June 14th.
The horses were found by Pat Collins after he received a call from his neighbor that the horses were on his property.
When Pat arrived he found 19 starving horses and one that had died. The horses were transferred to the Abilene Animal Shelter and evaluated by a veterinarian.
Corey Hatley, who dropped the horses off on Collins' land, said it was all a misunderstanding. Hatley said he received the horses from someone in El Paso after they were turned away from slaughter for being too sick.
Hatley said he planned to help care for the horses and put them up for adoption once they were well. He also brought with him a copy of a lease agreement he had with Bradley Collins, Pat's grandson, to allow him to use the land.
Pat Collins said his grandson had no authority over his land and leased the land without him knowing.
"I put them over there somewhere quiet where I could give them some shade, let them heal up," said Hatley.
Hatley said four of the horses were his own that had gotten sick. He said he moved them to Collins' land to keep them from spreading their illness to his other horses.
But the judge said the veterinarian rated all the horses in such bad physical condition that there was no way for him to be sure the four horses belonged to Hatley.
"The registration papers on my little boy's horse is right in front of him, so I don't understand how he could not tell that those four horses were mine over the other ones," Hatley said.
Lynn Scholtz with Rescue the Animals SPCA asked the judge to give them the horses instead.
"We've had a lot of response, we've had a lot of interest in those horses. They're all great horses," said Lynn Scholtz. She said they have a list of about 17 people who have signed up to adopt the horses after they are nursed back to health.
The judge ruled in favor of Rescue the Animals SPCA and the horses, including the four Hatley claims he paid for, were given to the organization.
"We're excited because now we know that they will go to new homes and hopefully they will never be put back in the position they were in," said Scholtz.
Hatley said he plans to do everything he can to get his own four horses back.
The man in El Paso who gave Hatley the other horses will be fined by the court and charged for the cost to treat them.