Cedar Rapids Weather
Note: The photos with this story may be disturbing to some readers
SUMNER, Iowa - The neglected horses discovered during a raid by the Fayette County Sheriff and Sumner police on Monday have now departed for a first step on an eventual recovery and adoption process.
Authorities discovered more than 25 dead horses and another 25 barely alive after acting on a tip about problems at 15684 Y Avenue on the Bremer and Fayette County line.
The Fayette County Sheriff and Sumner Police both charged Lawrence Daisy, 66 with a total of 31 misdemeanor charges of neglect of livestock and duty to dispose of dead bodies.
But rather than fight a battle, the owner agreed to give up control of the surviving horses, 22 in all, to Gentle Spirit Horses, a rescue group located in western Iowa and South Dakota. Friday, rescuers and volunteers moved in and removed all the remaining horses from the farm near Sumner to a new location.
David Williams, owner of a new group called Cowboys for Christ of Northern Iowa, agreed to host the recovering animals on his property in rural Chickasaw County. The rescue group will oversee their recovery and transfer to adopting families there.
Williams said some horses that survived a lack of care will require some time to nurse back to health.
"The main thing is time and patience. They didn't get this way overnight and they're not going to get better overnight," he said.
Volunteers on Friday loaded the 22 horses on three trailers for a trip to the temporary recovery site. Nina Ring, an organizer with Gentle Spirit Horses, said group members had received 70 verbal inquiries about adopting the horses as of midday Friday. However, no one had yet filled out adoption paperwork.
"We've had applications for this group come in pretty quickly and we're well started with matching horses with new owners," Ring said.
Ring said nursing all the starving horses back to health could take some weeks. Volunteers can't feed them too much at once or they can get sick. But some could have new homes within days and theadoption process will start in earnest this weekend.
Ring said the group will incur hundreds of dollars in feed and transportation expenses for the horses immediately. While they have plenty of volunteer workers, the group is still seeking donations to cover the expense of the rescue.
Potential donors can find more information at the group's web site click here