BAYTOWN, Texas -- An anonymous tip lead animal cruelty investigators with the Houston SPCA to rescue nearly 80 miniature horses and ponies, and one donkey from a Baytown property Wednesday morning.
SPCA officials said the horses were malnourished and in poor medical condition when discovered. They believe some of the mares may even be pregnant.
"They were pretty much out on the property by themselves. They did not have access to fresh water. They have overgrown hooves. Some of them have hip problems, breathing problems, some of them are totally blind, some of them are partially blind," said Julie Kuenstle, Director of Communications at the Houston SPCA.
They also suspect that there may be more livestock that will need to be rescued as well.
Nine veterinarians at the Houston SPCA are now treating the horses.
"Our team of vets are working very hard, not only taking blood work but evaluating and giving individualized treatment to each one of these animals to get them back to where they need to be. And in the interim, once we've triaged them here, we'll probably send them to our property in Hempstead," Kuenstle said.
The SPCA believes the animals may have been initially purchased as show horses, but were not getting the care they needed.
The SPCA is now trying to ensure custody of the horses. They are expecting an update next week.
In the meantime, the SPCA relies solely on donations. To help, click here.
"We are in dear need of grooming supplies, brushes, detanglers, saddle blankets, cotton lead ropes. It's best to call us or go straight to our website. We are also always in need of volunteers," Kuenstle said.