Horses seized from Pleasant Prairie farm improving day-by-day

PLEASANT PRAIRIE (WITI) -- Over 20 horses rescued from a Pleasant Prairie farm are working their way back to full health in their new home.

Police in Pleasant Prairie received a tip in early April and executed a search warrant at a farm on 128th Street, where they discovered the horses living in horrible conditions -- many of them starving and neglected.

During the execution of the search warrant, five deceased horse carcasses were located in stalls within close proximity to live horses. More than 20 other horses were removed from the farm.

Police returned to the farm last week and seized dozens of additional animals and arrested the farm's owners -- David White, and his wife, Paula.

FOX6 News visited the horses seized from the farm on Sunday, May 5th -- almost one month after they were rescued.

"They've got a ways to go yet. You know, big animals try to put weight back on, trying to get them back to regular health takes longer than a dog or a cat depending on how bad they really were," Robert Melby Jr. with Clawz and Pawz said.

Pleasant Prairie police contacted Melby in the hopes of finding the horses a better home.

"I guess I'd liken it to a POW camp. That's about it, I don't know how else. There's nothing good to say about any of the conditions," Melby Jr. said.

Melby says he expects the other animals seized, including sheep and goats to have a speedier recovery than the horses -- though the health of the horses is improving day-by-day. Pictures on the Clawz and Pawz Facebook page show the horses running and jumping in an open pasture -- doing what they were born to do.

"It was such a beautiful night, being able to get out there. I couldn't imagine how rewarding it was for those guys," Melby Jr. said.

Melby says police still have custody of the horses, as they are seized property. However, he says he hopes to work with officials to find the animals a permanent home.

"I just know every day I come in here and they're happy to hear somebody's here to feed them and take them outside and whatever we can do, more things for them, to make their lives better," Melby Jr. said.

The owners of the Pleasant Prairie farm each face a felony charge of animal mistreatment leading to death. They face up to three-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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