Two cases of possible animal abuse are being investigated in Cole County.
Cole County animal control responded to a report of horses being mistreated Wednesday on Blackburn Road, which is southeast of Russellville.
Officials are still trying to reach the owner.
“The horses aren’t, they’re not in the best of shape, but they’re not in bad enough shape where we’re gonna take them,” Capt. John Wheeler with the Cole County Sheriff’s Office said. “We know who the owner is and we’ve put a message out.”
Animal control told ABC 17 only a few horses from the group of about 15 on the property looked to be in bad shape.
ABC 17 went to the property Thursday and saw some of the horses’ ribs showing as well as their spines protruding from their backs. Animal control said it will continue to check on the animals until they are taken care of.
ABC 17 tried to talk to the owner of the horses, but no one answered the door at the home on the property.
The sheriff’s office is also trying to track down the owner of another group of horses.
In January, officials found a dead horse and two very skinny horses northwest of Jefferson City in the 1700 block of Scott Station road.
There was no food or shelter for the animals on the property, according to Wheeler.
“We took custody of the two living horses, took them to Quail Valley, they were nice enough to help us out and nurse them back to better health,” Wheeler said. “And then the courts then released them to another subject to take care of them until we find the owner.”
The sheriff’s office gets reports of animal abuse often, but very few cases check out, Wheeler said.
“If the animals’ condition is bad enough, we deem it an emergency,” Wheeler said. “We can take possession of those and then take them to a vet and the owner then is responsible for the payments.”
Right now, the sheriff’s office believes the owner may be in Mexico, according to Wheeler. The sheriff’s office are actively trying to find the owner.