The Animal Humane Society is investigating one of the state's largest cases of cruelty toward horses, seizing dozens from a farm in Fillmore County, just about 10 miles from the Iowa border.
When investigators arrived on the property, they found horse carcasses "all over the place" and removed 55 horses, ponies, and donkeys because of health concerns and grotesque conditions, including lack of shelter.
Four of the animals were so sick they have already been euthanized, and others are in extremely critical condition.
Investigators have not yet released the name of the man who owns the horses, saying only that he's hit been in trouble with animal cruelty before.
A dozen horses that were in the worst shape were rushed to the University of Minnesota's large animal hospital, and some of the photographs of their condition are very disturbing.
Veterinarian experts told FOX 9 News the animals were starved, dehydrated and had untreated wounds and injuries. They estimate it will take many months for the animals to regain their muscle mass and body weight because they must be fed slowly while the parasites and infections are brought under control.
"I'm very sad this would happen in the first place, and it makes me angry that it has," said Drew Fitzpatrick, of Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue. "The best way to deal with it is to assist the animals, to give an apology from the human race they deserve and to prosecute."
Investigators say animal cruelty and neglect charges could come as soon as next week.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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