Seven malnourished and severely underweight horses have been rescued from a property in Buckeye.
They were taken to the Durango Equine Vet clinic for rehabilitation and then will be cared for by sheriff's inmates in the MASH Unit.
Back in July, Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives were notified of a Buckeye residence where there were several possibly malnourished horses.
At that time, detectives seized one horse that was in bad shape and told the property owner what to do to take care of the rest of the horses.
Monday, detectives went back to the property to check on the rest of the horses. Several of them were in worse shape than before -- some even had open infected wounds.
They received a search warrant and Friday, seized seven horses. The horses appeared to be 150 to 300 pounds under weight. A veterinarian determined all seven needed immediate medical care.
"This horse had a halter on for an extended amount of time and that halter was growing into his nose," said Dr. Alana Hendrix from Durango Equine. "When we went out and saw her initially her head was covered in flies... You can see all of her ribs, her vertebrae... that is abnormal. We shouldn't even be able to see her ribs let alone feel them and put our finger in between them."
The horses' owner has not been located. He or she faces a number of animal cruelty charges.
For horse owners who are struggling with the high price of hay, there are a number of horse rescues in the valley that can help.