20 Graves with bones protruding through dirt: Authorities
Texas authorities seized more than 45 horses Tuesday from a woman claiming to operate a Thoroughbred horse rescue in Hill County.
The Hill County Sheriff’s Department served a seizure warrant at Caren Brown’s Grandview property. Brown operates Thunderfoot Equine Rehab and Rescue Ranch, Inc.
The Humane Society of North Texas helped remove 47 horses, 5 donkeys, 6 dogs, and a rabbit. The animals are in varying states of emaciation after their alleged maltreatment. Veterinarians euthanized one horse. The horses’ untreated injuries include a broken jaw and a maggot-infested laceration to the bone.
An animal cruelty complaint last weekend led authorities to take action. Chief Deputy R.D. White of the Hill County Sheriff Department tells us there was no hay, grain, grass or running water on the property. The equines in the barn resorted to eating the wood on the stalls.
Chief Deputy White says, “[Brown] wasn’t happy. She didn’t think they were malnourished.”
Deputies found at least 20 graves on the property that included a carcass and protruding bones.
Thunderfoot Equine Rehab and Rescue Ranch, Inc. does not have federal tax exemption through the IRS to operate as a non-profit. Texas shows the group as a domestic nonprofit corporation established in February 2016. The filing lists Caren S. Brown, Stephen J. Brown, and Alexis A. Bright as directors.
Thunderfoot Equine Rehab and Rescue purportedly takes in retired Thoroughbreds and retrains them for equine therapy or rehomes them. The group’s Facebook page is no longer public.
A judge will decide if the animals were treated cruelly during a civil hearing Monday.
Prosecutors have not charged Brown with a crime.
We attempted to contact Brown but were unable to reach her by phone.