MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Dozens of animal advocate groups teamed up with the Marion County Sheriff's Department to save more than 120 animals from a property on Smith Hill Rd. in Marion County Wednesday.
As rescue operations got underway early in the morning officials were estimating there were more than 200 animals on the property. By the end of the day120 were pulled out alive with several dead animals on the property.
Officials were alerted to the animals when neighbors started complaining about some of the animals escaping the property and grazing on their land. When deputies witnessed the conditions the animals were living in they contacted the Humane Society of the United States for assistance.
"We're finding a lot of the animals have been severely neglected for a long time,"said Lydia Satler, State Director, HSUS. "They are not getting basic care, a lot of the animals have real long hoofs, and we have deceased animals on the property."
The list of animals included more than 50 miniature horses, full size horses, goats, sheep, mules, turtles, and dozens of cats and dogs. Some were in pens or cages and some were left to roam the several acre property. Temporary shelter has been arranged for animals until a more permanent solution can be found.
"We're going to get this done today, however long it takes to get all the animals off the property. We'll get them to the shelter and at that point they are going to receive more extensive medical treatment and care."
Satler added it took a lot of planning and resources to put the rescue operation together. HSUS Animal Rescue team Members were brought in from around the country and locally several animal advocate groups pitched in to help.
Veterinarians on the scene were Doctor's Kirk Frazier, Brenda Sumrall, Laurissa Heinz, and Jennifer Springfield.
Assisting with the rescue: The Marion and Rankin County Sheriff's Departments, and volunteers from the Hub City Humane Society, Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Trails End Horse Haven and several other volunteers.
Authorities say charges are pending against the owner.