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Officials: 'If it weren't for neighbors, animals would be skin and bones'

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

Police and animal control officers in Longview executed a warrant Monday, seizing two horses and two cows from behind a home they believe nobody lives in.

Officials with the Longview Police Department, animal control and Safe Haven Equine Rescue responded to the 3400 block of Brent Road in northwest Longview.

Safe Haven Equine Rescue Executive Director Richard Fincher said neighbors played a part in helping save the animals’ lives.

“Neighbors have stepped in and have been feeding animals for the people,” Fincher said. “If it weren’t for the neighbors, these animals would be skin and bones.”

Fincher and his team became involved Monday morning, after Longview Police verified neighborhood complaints.

“As hot as it has been lately, they were concerned about their welfare,” said Longview Animal Control Officer Chris Kemper. “Being unable to resolve that with the owners, they did apply for a warrant.”

The owners were not home during the seizure, and the property had nothing for the animals to eat or drink.

“What hay is out there has got feces all over it, so the horses and the cows can’t eat it, either one,” Fincher said. “Very little water, if any. I didn’t see any in the tubs.”

The team was able to get the horses and one of the cows into the trailer quickly, but the other cow put up a fight.

“This one was fairly easy,” Fincher said. “We only had trouble with one of the steers.”

After a lot of dodging and running away, Fincher was finally able to lasso the steer and guide him into the trailer.

He said while this year is not as bad compared to last year for animal seizures, more people are telling him they are not able to afford taking care of their animals.

“More people are calling, asking us for help,” Fincher said. “They’ve got a horse that they can’t take care of. They lost their job. The economy is banging them up a bit.”

“You can reach out,” Kemper said. “There’s people that can help you out there, you can sell them, you can give them away. Anything is better than leaving them out in a pasture to waste away.”

The four rescued animals will be taken to the Safe Haven Animal Shelter, where they will undergo medical tests and be nursed back to health.

Authorities are still trying to find the owners and said they have not brought any charges in this case at this time.

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