Onondaga (WSYR-TV) -- The SPCA has a suspect in the recent horse abuse case. Seven dead horses and 14 neglected horses were found in the town of Onondaga on Onondaga Nation property. The SPCA won’t release the name of the suspect until the investigation is complete.
Nine of the surviving horses were taken from the farm on Bailer Road on Monday. The remaining five horses will be picked up by the SPCA later this week, according to the SPCA.
Investigators say the horses were fed sporadically and the seven likely died not from disease, but from being fed too much in between long spouts of starvation.
“It’s because they haven’t eaten and then all of a sudden you feed them too much. It can kill them,” said SPCA Cruelty Investigator Paul Morgan.
The horses have a long road of recovery ahead of them. One of them was found 250 pounds underweight. Morgan says Onondaga Nation leaders have promised to help fund the horses' rehabilitation.
“When the clan mothers were there yesterday they were overall surprised, shocked. I could tell just one their faces how upset and irritated they were to think that this could be going on, especially on property they own,” Morgan said.
A veterinarian checked on the five remaining horses on the property Tuesday morning and someone from the SPCA will come out and feed them until they're able to take the horses off the property on Thursday.
Only 9 of the 14 horses could be rounded up into trailers before dark Monday night.
“The reason for that is because they're such wild horses. They haven't been socialized with people. They don't want to come near you, they want to fight with you and everything else,” Morgan continued.
The SPCA facility in Mattydale can hold up to two horses, but those spots are already taken by horses seized from a LaFayette farm in January. The 14 horses are being kept on a farm in Cazenovia and the goal is to get them healthy and to find them safe homes.
The horses are a lot to take care of for anyone, so the SPCA is asking for your help. If you’d like to donate feed or if you can help care for the horses, contact the SPCA