MONTVILLE, Conn. — Connecticut has secured custody of eight neglected horses and they will be up for public adoption, according to Attorney General William Tong.
On January 19, Tong had moved for the state to gain custody of the neglected horses that were seized from Laurel Ledge Farms in Oakdale.
Following a Montville Animal Control complaint, the state Department of Agriculture’s Animal Control Unit found the horses at the farm.
According to a release, the animals were severely underweight and one described as extremely thin and unsound was being ridden.
“No animal should suffer in this way. These horses were severely malnourished and in visible pain," the attorney general said at the time. "We are moving today for permanent custody to ensure these horses receive the care and respect all living creatures deserve. It is my hope that these horses will continue to thrive under state care, and will one day find new loving homes."
Officials said several measures to improve the horses’ nutrition and health were recommended, but the owner failed to get them performed.
One horse, Tank, was suffering from a severe bone infection and was subsequently euthanized, the AG's office said.
In September 2020, the state Department of Agriculture sought a search and seizure warrant and obtained custody of all nine surviving horses.
Some of the conditions they found:
- All suffered from neglected dental care
- Three were in obvious and significant dental pain
- All nine horses lacked proper hoof care, including a severe bacterial infection in one
- Three of the nine horses needed extreme and immediate hoof care
- Eight of the nine horses had some degree of lameness
- Two were severely lame and in obvious pain
- Several were malnourished
“Finding suitable homes for each of these horses is our highest priority,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt. “They have already endured the unthinkable and deserve to be loved unconditionally.”
Horses Tristan, Regal, Avadon, Ember, Cabot, Sullivan, Sebastian, and Bailey are now available for public adoption, along with two other horses previously seized and in state custody in an unrelated case.
To be considered, interested parties should fill out an application form, specifying which horse they are interested in. Potential adopters will be thoroughly vetted through a background check and a site visit to verify adequate facilities. All adopters will be required to sign an agreement. For more information, click here.
The Department of Agriculture said it recognizes the hardship experienced by many animal owners due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, including job loss resulting in financial instability.
Additionally, severe drought throughout much of the state in 2020 limited available grazing during the summer months and negatively impacted the production of feed, including hay. The agency has compiled a directory of hay resources, as well as COVID-19 resources, which are available at www.CTGrown.gov.