On September 12, the Pine County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at a farm on Holly Road in rural Pine County. The search warrant was in connection with a month long investigation into allegations of animal abuse occurring at the farm near Pine City.
During the warrant, sheriff’s investigators and deputies discovered and seized 12 starving horses in filthy conditions. The following day, two of the horses were put down by a veterinarian due to their deplorable condition.
Twenty-one dogs of various breeds were seized from filthy pens and makeshift enclosures. Also seized were 18 ducks and 84 chickens which were covered in filth; at least one of the ducks was unable to float when placed in a cleaning tub.
The owner of the animals is not being named at this time, as the investigation has not been reviewed by the Pine County Attorney’s Office for charging.
By Minnesota state statute, the owner has 10 days to file a request for judicial review of the seizure of the animals. As of press time Tuesday, Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole stated he did not know of a challenge filed by the owner, so the Sheriff’s Office can humanely dispose of the animals. Because of paperwork, Cole said, “We’ll probably have them (the animals) for 10 more days.”
Pending a judicial filing, the horses will be available for adoption through North Ridge Veterinary Service, LLC. Those seeking to adopt a horse are required to provide full name, address, phone number and a veterinarian’s reference letter along with the name of your current farrier.
Pending a judicial filing, the dogs suitable for adoption will be available through the Pine County Guardian Angel Shelter. Adoption is dependent on the new owner agreeing to have the animal spayed or neutered. Two of the dogs are pregnant and litters are expected soon.
The cost of caring for these animals is over $10,000 and increasing daily. The Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations from individuals or groups interested in the rescue of these animals. Donations can be made in care of the Pine County Sheriff’s Posse/Horse Fund, and mailed or delivered to the Pine County Sheriff’s Office.