Formerly neglected horses adopted - WNCN: News, Weather

Formerly neglected horses adopted

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UPDATE:  Oct. 4, 2013

The five formerly neglected horses we told you were up for adoption last month now have new homes.

After our story aired, animal control says several people came forward interested in adopting the horses.

Today we learned a Sullivan County woman adopted four of the horses and a person from Washington County adopted the pony.

Director Debbie Dobbs says she feels confident the animals now have good homes.


Just weeks after a judge found three people guilty of animal cruelty, five formerly neglected horses are in need of a new home.

A Washington County judge sentenced David Hilliard, Kimberly Lebron and Arbutus Smith to community service and a year of supervised probation last month after their case went to trial. They're also not allowed to own a horse for a year.

Back in July, investigators found several starving horses on property off of Greg Hollow Road in Jonesborough. Those horses have since made quite a turnaround and are now up for adoption.

"They're actually a lot better than when they were when they were brought in here," Animal Control Officer Wayne Thomas said. "Just very scrawny, skinny, just very poor body condition."

According to Thomas, when animal control found the animals you could see their ribs. One also had sores under its neck from scraping against a fence trying to find food, Thomas said.

According to Thomas, there were originally six horses found at that property. He says one was in such bad shape that veterinarians had to put it down.

"There was not enough pasture area for the animals to be maintained the way they should have been," Thomas said. "It's just uncalled for. If you can't take care of one, either give it away, sell it or do something."

For the last two months, the five surviving horses have called the Washington County County Farm home and have enjoyed the accommodations there.

However, animal control says now it's time for them to find a permanent pasture.

"We really want them to go to homes and not up to the sale," Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs said. "Our main concern is that they go to families that want a horse to ride and take care of. We want them to have a better home than what they had."

People interested in adopting one of the horses are urged to call the Washington County-Johnson City animal shelter at (423) 926-8769.

According to Dobbs, there is a $200 adoption fee for every horse and $150 adoption fee per pony.

She says the shelter will review all interested applicants before deciding where the horses will go.

Copyright WJHL 2013. All rights reserved.

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