Starving horses in Cotton County

Cotton County_Officials say a herd of horses is starving in Cotton County. The horses range in ages, male and female, and are mostly down to skin and bones. At least 2 horses are already dead in the field. Another one, about a year old, is so weak it can't even stand up. Some of the others are so thin, they struggle to walk.

Unless you turn down one Cotton County dirt-road, you wouldn't know what was down there. But when you see it, it's hard to erase the image from your mind: over 20 horses with their ribs and hips very visible. "It's sickening. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I've heard of it but I've never seen anything like this," said a concerned citizen J.D. Pool.

J.D. and his friend, Karl Boyer, came across the horses when driving down this road Wednesday. "They had their heads sticking through the fence wanting us to feed them. That's pitiful," said Pool.

They say the horse stuck on the ground Wednesday was in the exact same place Thursday. "You can tell by the rut marks around him where it's been trying to get up. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this horse hasn't had anything to eat or anything to drink for a long, long time," said Boyer.

Both long time horse-owners, Pool and Boyer said they were disgusted by what they saw. So was Cotton County Sheriff Paul Jeffrey. He described it as one of the most deplorable sights he's seen. He told the owner to get food to them immediately. The vet we showed video of the horses to told us just how much the horses needed help. "It's obvious the horses are very much underweight and I would be concerned about that about their nutrition. I'm also concerned about the fact that they might have a compromised immune system because of that poor nutrition," said Veterinarian Keith Parrish.

The owner did bring out a bale of hay for the horses, but officials said that won't provide the protein the horses need, especially in their current state. The owner also told 7NEWS he owned more livestock and they were in good condition. Crews didn't get a chance to see those. Sheriff Jeffrey also told 7NEWS if the owner doesn't provide for these horses immediately, he will take action with the animal humane society, maybe even further.