Horses seized in abuse investigation

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
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MORRISTOWN, Ariz. -- Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office are investigating a case of alleged animal abuse.

Deputies served a search warrant at a large property in Morristown, Ariz., 50 miles northwest of Phoenix, Tuesday morning. They seized ten horses and ponies, three goats, and four chihuahua dogs.

"The real reason is medical, not taking care of these animals properly, not feeding them properly. It's a violation of the animal cruelty law." said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The owner of the property, 38-year-old Jesus Torres, was arrested and charged with 27 counts of animal abuse.

"We have several horses that are underweight," said Dr. Alana Hendrix with the Durango Equine Veterinary Clinic. "We have several horses with problems in their feet, lack of hoof care. Several of the horses are not feeling well. They're not eating. They have sand in their intestines."

Dr. Hendrix will care for all of the animals seized in Morristown on Tuesday at her clinic in Buckeye, Ariz.

"We have three little baby goats who are very, very thin," said Dr. Hendrix. "They've not been fed properly. They still need milk."

The investigation began after the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office received a complaint this week.

Dr. Hendrix said people need to understand that it is expensive to properly care for horses.

"These horses are expensive to look after," explained Dr. Hendrix. "They eat $100-plus dollars a month in hay and when you have several of them like this those bills add up really fast."