SALTSBURG (KDKA) — Nearly a dozen horses were removed from a local farm.
The horses were living in a field behind a home in Saltsburg. Humane agents say they were severely underweight and had nothing but grass to eat.
The horses were so thin their ribs and hips showed through their coats. Their hair was dirty and matted. Their hooves neglected as well.
“Most of the horses were really thin,” Jan Dillon with the Humane Society said. “There was one that didn’t look too bad, but the rest of them are really thin.”
Humane agents Thursday showed up at the farm on Harvat Road in Saltsburg with four trailers and a search warrant prepared to take the horses.
They took eight in all. They’ll be back to check on a ninth at a later date.
They also took one dog- a severely underweight Great Dane. Another dog was surrendered. Six more remain at the home.
Humane agents first went to Stephanie Baker’s home back in December and determined that her animals were being adequately cared for, but in the months since, their condition has deteriorated to the point that humane officers decided to intervene.
“I work so hard to get money and I don’t have a job, but I do scrap little things to get enough money to just buy animal food,” Baker said. “I don’t get to buy stuff for myself like video games or movies – we don’t even have cable. We’d rather spend it on animals.”
While it’s clear Baker does love her animals, humane officers say that love isn’t enough to allow her to keep them.
“Because they’re in such bad shape, I mean they can’t be left out there like that if you’re gonna own them you have to take care of them,” Dillon said.
Stephanie Baker will be charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals for the horses and an additional count for the dog.
The horses will be taken to a quarantine site. The dogs will go to the Humane Society.