A New Hampton man is facing charges after authorities seized 18 horses from a farm in northeast Iowa this week. Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher says deputies also found the carcasses of three horses. The animals that were found alive were described as extremely malnourished.
Fisher says the horses were eating wood off feed bunks and bark off trees. Deputies were called to the farm Sunday night on the report of possible animal neglect. They fed the animals and then returned on Monday with a veterinarian and a warrant to seize the horses.
Fisher says as they were loading the horses up, the care taker, 41 year old Kelly Joe Olson, arrived on the scene. "My deputies immediately arrested him," Fisher said. Olson was booked in the Fayette County Jail on charges of serious misdemeanor livestock neglect and driving while barred.
"I’ve been in law enforcement here in Fayette County since the mid-1970s," Fisher said. "We’ve had occasions of livestock neglect, but this one ranks right up there. Anytime you see any type of animals neglected to the point of starvation, it’s a sad situation."