Authorities: A Third of Calico Dairy Horses Emaciated Photo © Houston SPCA

Authorities: A Third of Calico Dairy Horses Emaciated

 

Rate My Horse PRO has obtained the arrest affidavits for the Texas horse breeders accused of animal cruelty. Court documents state more than 50 of Herman and Kathleen Hoffman’s horses had a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 1 to 2.

Both are charged with three counts of animal cruelty for “intentionally or knowingly fail[ing]… to provide necessary food, water or care for a livestock animal in the defendant’s custody.” The Hoffmans could face additional charges.

The day prior to the couple’s arrest, authorities met with five individuals who were employed by the Calico Dairy. The report states each witnessed animal cruelty by the Hoffmans. One employee said she saw horses die from colic and starvation. Another, who was in charge of feeding the horses, told officials that the horses on the property were not receiving adequate food to keep them in good health. She said she saw 20-25 horses die during her time working there. The witnesses also said the Hoffmans burned several horses’ bodies on the property.

All of the witnesses talked about a stallion that was left in the hot sun, without any cover or water, according to the affidavit. The Hoffmans were told, but did nothing to help the animal. A worker put the horse inside, although the “stallion had already started to cook as the skin was falling off the horse when you touched it.” The Hoffmans allegedly would not contact a vet. Kathleen Hoffman gave the horse a shot of something she identified as banamine. The downed horse died.

In the wee hours of June 24th, a deputy came upon Calico Dairy. A truck pulling a livestock trailer was leaving the property. The driver voluntarily pulled over, after the deputy followed his rig down the road. A man identified only as “Buddy” said Herman Hoffman called him to pick up some horses. Hoffman allegedly told “Buddy” what horses to take and five were on the trailer. The documents do not say where the horses were being taken.

It was later that day when authorities obtained a search warrant for the premises leading to the Hoffmans arrest and the seizure of 201 horses. None of the dairy’s cows or goats were seized.

The couple is scheduled to appear for their criminal case in July.

Civil proceedings to decide custody of the horses is currently underway after the judge denied Hoffman’s request to delay Tuesday’s hearing so he could hire an attorney. Hoffman alleges the search was unconstitutional.

Stay with us as we bring you the latest from that angle of the story.