City of Knoxville houses about 30 seized horses

City of Knoxville houses about 30 seized horses

Posted:
The city of Knoxville agreed Thursday to temporarily house about 30 seized horses at Chilhowee Park. The city of Knoxville agreed Thursday to temporarily house about 30 seized horses at Chilhowee Park.
The sheriff's office seized the animals from an East Knox County farm on Voltz Lane Thursday afternoon. The sheriff's office seized the animals from an East Knox County farm on Voltz Lane Thursday afternoon.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The city of Knoxville agreed Thursday to temporarily house seized horses at Chilhowee Park.

The sheriff's office seized the animals from an East Knox County farm on Voltz Lane Thursday afternoon.

Animal control officers found 98 horses, two llamas, and a donkey at the farm. They found two dead horses on the property.

The farm has been quarantined by state officials until the investigation is complete.

County officials and volunteers with Horse Haven of Tennessee have taken 20 horses to Chilhowee Park.

"They pulled the ones that appeared to need the most help," said Horse Haven assistant executive director Sonja Cowsert. "We body score horses that are in poor condition. The chart goes from one to nine, nine obese, one is bones only. From what I understand those are all three and below."

County officials say malnourishment is the most common problem with the horses.  Three of the horses had to be taken to the UT Large Animal Hospital for care.

"It's very overwhelming," said Horse Haven executive director Nina Margetson, "Especially when just when these came from a place that had 98 horses on it. There is no way feasible a person can pay and care for 98 horses."

They are unsure how long the animals will be at the park.

"We ran out of daylight hours today, so we will be going back in the morning and bringing the rest of them in," said Margetson. "That could be another 13 to 15."

County officials only had a few hours to find a place for the horses to stay.

"We're happy to make our agricultural buildings available to these horses, so that they can be well taken care of until new homes can be found for them," said Bob Polk, executive director of the City's Public Assembly Facilities, which supervises Chilhowee Park.

The horses will be kept in buildings used for cattle shows and animal events.

The horses are being assessed by veterinarians from the University of Tennessee Large Animal Hospital, under the supervision of the sheriff's office animal control unit.

This is not the first time Knox County animal control officers have been to this East Knox County farm. Back in November, a search warrant was issued to check on the horses there. After being cited for cruelty to animals early this week, the owners of the horses did not comply with court orders resulting in Thursday's operation.

Additional counts of cruelty to animal charges are pending against the owners of the horses.

Horse Haven officials are asking anyone who wants to donate food or supplies to the horses to visit any Tractor Supply store in the area. They will have a wish list of everything needed for the horses.

Donations do not need to be dropped off at Chilhowee Park, and right now they have plenty of volunteers to take care of the horses.

Monetary donations to Horse Haven of Tennessee are always welcomed.



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