Seized horses need new home

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
POSTED: 6:05 PM Sep 25 2012   UPDATED: 6:22 PM Sep 25 2012
Winters horses
ABILENE, Texas -

Malnourished horses are becoming an all too familiar sight for Rescue the Animals/SPCA and Abilene Animal Services. Rescue received more than 30 horses from Winters Monday--they are being held at Abilene Animal Services.

"It's heartbreaking--yesterday we came out here and we looked at them--it's so sad it just brings tears to your eyes," Kerry Clark, a horse owner who is looking to adopt one of the horses said. "Our horses are just in beautiful shape and the comparison is just unbelievable."

The Runnels County Sheriff's Office seized the horses from Sandra Bannister of Winters who was arrested in early September. They found one horse dead and another had to be euthanized.

Bannister is charged with two counts of animal cruelty. A judge ruled Saturday she would lose ownership of the horses.

Six of the 33 horses at Abilene Animal Services were adopted after they arrived Monday.

While it only costs $100 to adopt one of the horses, Paul Washburn, President of Rescue the Animals/SPCA, warned it is a big commitment.

"This is not a starter kit--if you haven't had a horse before this may not be the place to start because these horses have been through a lot," Washburn said. "They could have some ongoing medical problems because of their starvation problem."

Washburn said he has seen much worse. For example, the 19 horses that were seized from Ranger over the summer.

"The horses are in a little better condition than we thought they'd be. They're still only scoring one's and two's out of a score of 10--but as you can see, some of them are downright lovable and I think people will find that if they're patient with them, they'll get them back up to weight and they're going to have some fantastic horses," he said.

Washburn said donations of hay bales or bags of food can be dropped off at Abilene Animal Services at 925 South 25th Street. Adoption applications can also be filled out there.