Thursday Sep 27 2012 4:00 PM
Offers of help are pouring into the Pierce County Auditor's Office as Animal Control officers wrap up seizing 39 horses amid an investigation of neglect.
"Responding to people's compassion and generosity is almost as challenging as rescuing the 39 horses," said Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. "We've been inundated with offers of help and people wanting to know how to help. We've had donation offers from farriers to feed stores and even an equine massage therapist. We were especially touched when a 4-H Club approached us, to have kids take this on as a community service project."
Unfortunately, individual volunteers can not volunteer to handle or help with the care of the horses, as they are evidence in an investigation. Many of the horses are stallions. These horses have been traumatized and are very difficult - and sometimes dangerous - to handle.
A volunteer group of experienced horsemen is being assembled to assist with the horses. These men and women come from groups such as Peninsula Mounted Search and Rescue, Backcountry Horsemen, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the Washington State Animal Response Team and Pierce County Animal Response Team.
In response to the public's desire to help, the Auditor encouraged people to donate money to help Pierce County pay for care and rehabilitation, which is expected to cost up to $40,000. Donations can be made to: Pierce County Auditor's Office, 2401 South 35th Street, Room 200, Tacoma, WA 98409. Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter with the county's tax deductible information.
The county also could use muck rakes for cleaning stalls. If members of the public are willing to donate (not loan) these items, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Auditor's Office has already received two unsolicited donations of nearly two tons of hay, including a donation from an anonymous donor as well as former county employee Dick Zierman and King Feed (304th and Mountain Highway).
These horses are not available for adoption because Pierce County does not own them. They are being held as evidence in a criminal investigation. The owner has the option to surrender the horses to Pierce County, however he has declined to do so. If the horses become available for adoption, the Pierce County Auditor's Office will make applications available to the public.
Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor253-798-3188 or 253-318-0493 (cell)