Seach Warrant Executed: Horses Seized From Highway 97 Stable

June 5, 2010

Three malnourished horses were seized Friday afternoon as a search warrant was executed at a Molino stable.

Deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and investigators and volunteers from Panhandle Equine Rescue worked to seize the horses from 2401 Highway 97. According to PER President Diane Lowery, the three horses were malnourished. They were located in a large pasture where additional hay and water was obviously provided.

“These three need more than they are getting here; they need grain,” she said as she looked out over the acres of pasture where numerous other horses appeared well nourished. “Sometimes they need a supplement, which they are not getting. We’ve tried to educate them (the caretakers) on how to take care of them.”

Once they were rounded up from the pasture, loading the animals in waiting trailers proved to be a bit of a challenge. One loaded with reasonable ease, lured by a bucket of food. But two proved a bit more difficult, with Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Wes Brown eventually grabbing a rope and lassoing one of them like an old west cowboy.

It was not immediately known who owned the three horses that were seized. No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the case.

For more exclusive photos from the search warrant execution, click here.

Pictured top: Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Wes Brown throws a lasso at a horse during the execution of search warrant Friday afternoon on Highway 97 in Molino. Pictured inset: Volunteers from Panhandle Equine Rescue remove a horse from a field at a Molino stable. Pictured below: One of the seized malnourished horses. photos, click to enlarge.


47 Responses to “Seach Warrant Executed: Horses Seized From Highway 97 Stable”

  1. Trish on June 9th, 2010 2:20 pm

    To dnutjob:

    The horses across from the fire dept. are fat and sassy. The horses on 95-A are probably mine. If any of you want to see them up close and personal and judge whether or not I take care of them then please stop by one day when you see me home and I will give you a personal tour. Watch out for the “No Trespassing” sign.

    I agree with you about the auctions. I think it is a case of people don’t look at the whole story. Do away with slaughter houses then wonder why horse rescue’s are running out of room??? It seems pretty clear to you and I.

    I love animals and believe that if you own them you should take care of their needs. But people… don’t drive by and do a “quick” judgement on someone. If you do, then lets turn the tables and let us do a drive-by judgement on something you own. You think this, you think that, it sounds like all of you think you are experts. I don’t know a lot about PER but I would hope they do a lot of leg work trying to help people before they take their animals. On the other hand, maybe I am wrong and they just willy nilly seize the animal without knowing what the situation is. I just hope they are not “wantabe” experts, but to know for sure I would have to actually talk to them. Could end up joining their organization… but would that mean that they would do a “drive-by” judgement on my horses?? You never know.

  2. Molino Resident on June 8th, 2010 9:47 am

    Unchainyourdog – Of all the comments…I believe you have spoken the truth most clearly. Obviously, everyone has an opinion. And, as my step-dad always says, “There are talkers and there are doers…” It’s seems so easy to cloud the issues when people become passionate.

    However and to you others, the fact remains that we ALL live here…animal and human alike. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I feel sorry for you because we ARE ALL connected. We have to take take care of it ALL. Where is your compassion people? Why do some of you find it so difficult to be part of and see the bigger picture? What harm does it cause to care, to reach out? And, if you can’t find it in yourself to do so, why do you find it easier to wear down those who do choose to do good? We are all connected to every living thing…Just look at the Gulf Crisis if you think we are not ALL connected.

    There is enough hate and evil in this world. Don’t you think we should try to be more positive in our actions and thoughts?

  3. AL on June 7th, 2010 5:54 pm

    LEI – Santa Rosa county actually has a program to give a “hand up” for horse owners who just need a little help in lean times. They have a great system over there and a lot of success.

  4. oh well on June 7th, 2010 5:38 pm


    thats telling them sherri, your my kind of gal!!!!!

  5. Lei on June 6th, 2010 9:04 pm

    This is very sad and unfortunatly happens more than you think. I understand that times are tough and everyone is hurting financially but if i couldnt afford any of my animals anymore than I would do the right thing and find them a new home. This is unexceptable. I believe that we shou;d take care of those that cannot care for themselves like children, the elderly and animals. For those of you that say animals are property and have no rights, don’t forget that it wasnt that long ago when wives and children were considered property. You could beat your wife or child as long as the stick was not thicker than your thumb. It is not acceptable to neglect an animal or abuse an animal under any conditions. I do wish that their were more options for animal owners for help with feed and vet care who are struggling right now. I know that their are many people that love their animals but cannot care for them properly.

  6. molinojim on June 6th, 2010 8:54 pm

    One of the horses was a young Tenn. Walker. It is about half the size it should be at this age. It was also trying to nurse the mare that dropped it. If you can’t take care of an animal run it through the sale and hope for better times. We made the mistake of out lawing the sale and shipping of horse meat to other countries and now the animal are being just left where ever. It’s the same mind set as the person who will dump a litter of pups on the side of the road. They tell their kids and most likely believe themselves that “they are animals and can hunt for food and find water” If the animal is lucky it gets run over and does not have to suffer.

  7. residant on June 6th, 2010 1:58 pm


  8. to ghendrick on June 6th, 2010 1:53 pm

    To ghendrick

    Yes, I am for taking care of your animal. But I am not for others telling me what to do or how to take care of my animals. Their are many opinions on how to take care of a sick animal. It can be trial and error even with a vet.

    As far as abstinance,
    We are not animals yet society expects us to act like animals. That is the thinking of a world that believes in evolution.

    The differences are:

    Man was made in the likeness of God, animal was not.
    Man has an eternal soul, animals do not.
    Man dies and goes to Heaven or Hell, animal just dies.

  9. unchainyourdog on June 6th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Animal Welfare is EVERYONE’S business.That’s why we have laws on the books protecting them. You better believe I report every neglect case I see, be it dog, horse, child etc. Speak of for those who cannot speak for themselves.

    Kudos to the Sherifif’s Dept. for stepping is to assist PER! There is an abundance of data out there linking abuse/neglect of animals to abuse towards humans. This was NOT a waste of the Sheriff’s time or resources.

    Thank you, PER, for all the work you do on behalf of the animals. I applaud your compassion and dedication and am sorry too many folks in the community have raked you over the coals.

  10. T2 on June 6th, 2010 12:19 pm

    You people on here are CRAZY!

  11. dnutjob on June 6th, 2010 11:03 am

    No, I didnt report BECAUSE IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS! and until animals are not classified as property I won’t , yes it is sad but until people are educated and economy rebounds there will be alot of animals like this. Why don’t you go down to the pound you would be amazed at how many animals are put down a day. I am sure the peole who have animals the majority take care of them but sometimes when times are hard the animals go without sometimes just like the people do and you can’t drop a horse off at the pound and right now it is hard to even give a good horse away they are selling for as low as 50 dollars at the sale so you figure it out. If you WENDY were so worried did you stop and offer help? of course not, you just called someone else to handle it. Don’t throw stones at me cause I am pretty sure you probably live in a glass house.

  12. peppershaker on June 6th, 2010 8:53 am

    The pastures these horses are being kept on does not look luscious to me. There is a lot that goes into pasture management. Horses do not eat weeds. You have to fertilize and cut the grass. You have to weed the grass or else the pasture is useless to horses. I’m of the opinion that even if the owners of the property are just “pasture boarding the horses”, they have a responsibility to the boarders to maintain the feeding pasture for the horses. Not all of these horses looked old, one of the horses shown in the pictures looked like a young yearling. Some parasite wormer (basic horse care) might do wonders.

  13. Poor Animals on June 6th, 2010 8:36 am

    The law should check out the animals behind the Century dollar store thats is very sad someone should do something about it !!!!!! tieing donkeys to a tree

  14. EscambiaGuy on June 6th, 2010 8:03 am

    well i for one can say i am glad to see the officers out of the cars and doing something, besides sitting in the a/c.

  15. ghendricks on June 5th, 2010 11:02 pm

    “The Escambia County sheriff department’s time and resources could be better spent dealing with real criminal situations. What perverted philosophy in this nation, abort babies, save horses. Let PER do something useful, perhaps they should try picking up tar balls on the beach or picketting an abortion clinic! Let’s be scrutinizing the PER people to make sure they are not neglecting any animals. Is not turnabout fair play?”

    Well it doesn’t take long for people like “fed up” to go off on a tangent about abortion when an animal cruelty story turns up. If you are against abortion fine. But, it is people like you that do everything they can to stop people from getting condoms, birth control pills, morning after pills and other non abortion birth control methods. You are always so intent on running everyone’s lives! Yeah, just abstain it worked real well in the Palin household!

    One common denominator between children and animals, DON’T HAVE THEM IF YOU CAN’T TAKE CARE OF THEM!!!

  16. Sherri on June 5th, 2010 10:55 pm

    First, I am not a member of PER! I used to not be a fan of PER but I’ve gotten to know a lot of their volunteers over the past two years and not one of them wants to “take” someone else’s horse. It’s a shame that these conversations are even taking place. Shame on any horse, livestock, or pet owner that they can be allowed to “treat” their animal anyway they want. Humans have rights and so do our animals. As the great Dr. Hillman once said: it is our God given responsibility to take care of these animals from birth to death. Period.

    I had a 40 year old mare with no teeth that looked better than any one of these three horses. I knew the seized mare before she fell into the hands of this fool, and she was very healthy when she left our neighborhood. She is young, and once was gorgeous. No excuses and damn you all who think a horse who “isn’t thirsty or hungry” is okay. You try living on water and a lousy, weedy pasture with no nutritional value with a nursing baby for a few months and bet you change your attitude. Good grief, when we think it’s okay for walking skeletons to hang around our area then we really have hit rock bottom. Don’t throw rocks in a glass house folks.

    Yes, we horse folks have nursed sick horses that have weight challenges and work constantly to keep weight on them and those are special circustances, so don’t judge until you have the whole story and make stupid comments until you know what is what. At least PER has the hooha to stand up for our horses. Sounds like a lot of you just hide behind your fences and talk trash about other people who take action while you sit on your behinds with your remote controls, computers and newspapers. Get off your butts and get behind your beliefs and quit judging the folks who work so hard to help the ones who can’t speak for themselves. If you feel so strongly about taking care of humans then get to it and do something. Otherwise, hush up and keep that gun loaded to shoot us folks that give a darn!

  17. AL on June 5th, 2010 10:52 pm

    JW – Since we currently live in the USA, the laws governing this land determine the definitions and requirements for ownership.

    As far as the “old horse” theory – if that is the case they should have documentation from their veterinarian stating so.

  18. molinojim on June 5th, 2010 9:39 pm

    Thanks QueenBee. As Paul Harvey would have said about the story on PEP’s web site—now you know the rest of the story. The property in question is not well tended and while some horses could get along on it others can’t. There was a couple who left their horses in a small area with a roll bail of hay while they were gone for more than two weeks—then couldn’t understand why the animals were so weak. A lot of people don’t need to have animals.

  19. cracks me up!!! on June 5th, 2010 9:15 pm

    Its amazing that some people feel the need the mind someone elses business just to fill a void in there own lives. I am all for taking up for animals who have no food or water, but these animals have never known hunger or thirst, so what did they feel? Like they were skinny or less apealing to the other horses? Get real folks!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Queenbee on June 5th, 2010 8:33 pm

    Check out the PER website at
    Their version of the story may clarify some things.

  21. wendy on June 5th, 2010 8:29 pm

    if you go to the PER website, you can see that the pasture is weeds….. and they have been working with the owners for two years

  22. Molino maw on June 5th, 2010 7:26 pm

    Unreal! The pasture looked great for horses. The property was well cared for. The horses stables are nice. Why don’t we start PAR Panhandle Automobile Rescure and have people arrested in not changing their oil and getting tune ups. It is all private property. These may be old horses that are not going to get well.

    Let’s start a movement to give PER all of the broken down old horses in the area. Let them take care of them. (Not at tax payer expense.)

  23. Dixie Chick on June 5th, 2010 7:15 pm

    yes the Creator will judge those who are cruel and meglecy their animals but until they get up there and meet the Creator someone down here needs to make sure they follow man’s law too.

  24. jw on June 5th, 2010 6:57 pm

    AL – Some good points, but who exactly gives the privilege of “ownership” and who exactly revokes it? I’d say our Creator gave mankind the privilege and He will judge us for how we handled it.

  25. TJ on June 5th, 2010 6:21 pm

    For the horse by the molino fire deptment Are you talking about right down the road On 95A or where at ??? I just pasted by the ones on 95A and just for the road they look O.K. so I didn’t think that is the ones You are talking about but I didn;t see some right byside the firehouse,,,,,

  26. FYI on June 5th, 2010 5:48 pm

    How could anyone look at these animals and think it was right to let them get that way? Thank God there are laws to protect the innocent and MOST people know right from wrong. I don’t know how some people sleep at night. One day they will answer to God for being so cruel and thoughtless. It makes me wonder what kind of mother some people had or if they had one at all!!

  27. AL on June 5th, 2010 3:56 pm

    edited to clarify:
    When I say Human?? I meant I don’t consider horses (animals) human or human-like

  28. AL on June 5th, 2010 3:55 pm

    JW – really? There are laws in place to protect animals because they are living breathing beings. Human? Absolutely not, and I don’t give them the same “value”…. but if you are going to keep an animal of any sort captive, then you are accepting the responsibility of their shelter, food, water and medical care. You absolutely do NOT have the “right” to treat an animal how you want to… ownership is a privilege (that can be revoked) and it is not a right.
    Google “Henneke scale” and that will give you an idea of how to determine neglect.
    I have no use for PER, I think they go about things all wrong – but they are doing a job nobody else will do in order to save horses. If the owner was given tips on improving and didn’t take that advice – then they have no business having animals dependent on their care.

  29. jw on June 5th, 2010 2:51 pm

    On the contrary, I would have to disagree with the comparison of the neglect of a human being to the neglect of an animal. Like I said earlier…animals and people are not the same. It is the duty of the law and everyone in society to come to the aid and assistance of someone who is being abused or neglected. However, in the case of an animal it is completely different. If you recognize that someone isn’t caring for their animal properly then you can offer advise or assistance to them. But it is ultimately up to the owner, how their animal is treated…not you or I or Uncle Sam. This is simple American Freedom and Liberty 101. Besides who makes the call on what is neglect and what isn’t? Some animal rights activist “Horse Nut” down the street?

  30. JUDY MASEK on June 5th, 2010 1:51 pm

    whether its DFC, monitoring child/elderly abuse, cruelty or neglect…or, the HUMANE society/PER monitoring animal abuse, crueltly or neglect…our society NEEDS them…not every caregiver ( to humans or animals) has the moral conscience to be humane or responsible…consequenly, we have laws just for that reason.

  31. jw on June 5th, 2010 1:00 pm

    It is so unfortunate that we have all been so brainwashed to the point that we think the government has any authority to take someone’s personal property against their will. This is really just 21st century horse thieves fueled by the Darwinian philosophy spoon fed by outlets such as animal planet. The basic truth is a horse is NOT a human nor is it in anyway related or similar to humans. Now granted I have lots of animals, and I love them. But seriously, they are just animals and on top of that, I own them. No one else can even touch them unless I give my permission. It’s just like my car. If I choose to not change the oil and I treat it poorly, I’ll eventually have lost my money and my vehicle. It is exactly the same with a horse. If I am an idiot and I don’t take care of my horse properly then it might die and I’ll lose my pet, friend, and money, etc. But that is completely my own concern. If I choose to let my horse die, then oh well. I’m a dummy. But it is still my horse and I get to make the decision of how it is cared for. If someone thinks they can come on my property and take away something I own, because I’m not taking care of it the way THEY think I should then they are seriously over influenced by the left. Besides, if you come to my farm and start hauling off my truck because it looks pretty rough, I’ll shoot you. If you come to haul off my animal, well…there isn’t any difference.

    But don’t get me wrong. I believe a man is to take care of the creatures placed in his care. That’s what the Bible teaches.

  32. AL on June 5th, 2010 11:53 am

    If it weren’t for the matted nasty mane, I would almost buy the “they’re sick” line. I had a 30yr old mare with some funky brain disease that gave her a full winter coat in July and she was completely skin and bones (despite $70/mth medicine and special feed)…. but her mane and tail were never knotted that severely and even her thick, teddy bear coat in July stayed clean (and usually wet from the hose).

    Beautiful horses…. black TWH?

  33. wendy on June 5th, 2010 11:47 am

    oops typeo and see them dead.

  34. fed up on June 5th, 2010 11:46 am

    The Escambia County sheriff department’s time and resources could be better spent dealing with real criminal situations. What perverted philosophy in this nation, abort babies, save horses. Let PER do something useful, perhaps they should try picking up tar balls on the beach or picketting an abortion clinic! Let’s be scrutinizing the PER people to make sure they are not neglecting any animals. Is not turnabout fair play?

  35. wendy on June 5th, 2010 11:45 am

    dnutjob, if there are horses by the molino fire dept that look worse than these. have you called and reported them????? you know if people dont report the animals then they cant get help…hope you dont wait til one dies. as for as the horses that were rescued thank you PER. i have rode by these horses for months and have reported them. they have gotten worse since they got there. i was really worried i would ride by there one day a see them dead.

  36. SaddleUpNRide on June 5th, 2010 10:52 am

    My 28 yr old Tenn. walker mare looks much healthier than these poor critters. Its hard to keep weight on an older horse without the proper feed and suppliments. These three may have already been starving even before being put on this luscious pasture. Some people get horses just so they can say “I own a horse”, which is so terribly wrong.

    Good job PER and Esc. Co. Sheriffs Dept.

  37. country gurl on June 5th, 2010 10:39 am

    That is so wrong to neglect your animals like that when you leave them in a stall with just hay and water while the other horses are getting all they need. I would always treat my animals in a good caring way.

  38. Courtney W. on June 5th, 2010 10:36 am

    That is so wrong to neglet your animals and leave them in a stall with just hay and water while the other horses are getting all they need. I feel so bad for those horses in that stable.

  39. Are you serious on June 5th, 2010 9:33 am

    Chumuckla Proud…my thoughts exactly! This is clearly a case of animal neglect and abuse so why no criminal charges???! These ignorant, disgraceful owners should not be allowed to have any animals, period!

  40. dnutjob on June 5th, 2010 9:27 am

    When you stable an animal at a barn the stable does not own the animal, sometimes they charge you for just pasture and board and the owner has to provide the feed and vet care, so lets not jump to conclusions people, and these animals look better than the two you see next to the Molino fire dept so lets run over there and get them. I have a horse that wind sucks, and he looses wieght sometimes because of it, but there is no cure and he is fed well, but the windsucking causes him to loose wieght sometimes and I give him supplements but the vets say there is nothing I can do. On day I will have to put him down but as long as he is happy and playing with his buddies he will stay right where he is because he has been a good horse and friend to my girls and hopefully one day he will be my grandaughters friend also.

  41. oh well on June 5th, 2010 8:37 am

    C Proud
    I agree totally again with you.

    This is really getting out of hand.

    Yes that is a double entendre!

  42. oh well on June 5th, 2010 8:35 am

    I would have liked to have seen this roundup in person so I could have
    seen this sheriff throw that wild west action. lol
    Who was that masked man….lol

  43. oh well on June 5th, 2010 8:33 am

    they said in the article that they tried to educate the owner, so i’m thinking
    they have been there for sometime and they have been watching and talking
    to them. They usually give them a chance to keep their animals unless
    the animals look like there is no time to spare for the education of
    their ignorant owners or as in this case caretakers.

  44. bwayne on June 5th, 2010 8:02 am

    Strange that the other horses did not show signs of neglect. I am wondering if these were newly acquired animals that had not had time to regain their health yet. We used to go to the Robertsdale auction and purchase horses to keep the meat packers from getting them. It took us months to get them back up into shape and healthy enough to do anything with them, but they always came back to good health and temperament.

  45. Chumuckla Proud on June 5th, 2010 7:28 am

    No criminal charges have been filed….how often do you see this with animal neglect?? These owners should be put out to pasture naked and denied food with the exception of bread and water. Give them what they deserve.

  46. me to ashley on June 5th, 2010 7:04 am

    how stupid do you have to be to watch a horse become skin and bones to not

    know that it needs something else to eat or has some kind of problem that

    y0u need to speak to a vet about or someone for god sake.

  47. Ashley on June 5th, 2010 1:36 am

    If u cant take care of a animal then dont get one!! I hate to see things like this!!

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