MELLEN TOWNSHIP - Two Clydesdales, rescued from a Harris Township scrap yard more than a year ago, are still receiving treatment for their injuries.
On July 1, 2011, the Menominee County Sheriff's Office and a veterinarian responded to a complaint that two Clydesdales were being abused and neglected.
The horses were being kept in a scrap yard which included acres of ground littered with metal objects, broken glass, nails and other hazards.
When the officers and veterinarian discovered the horses, both animals were underweight, dehydrated, and were suffering from extreme infections that could be smelled from a distance.
One horse was suffering from two untreated gunshot wounds to the withers, a ridge between the shoulder blades, as well as multiple puncture wounds and scrapes over the rest of its body.
The other horse's hind leg was swollen from the groin to the hoof. The leg had several deep puncture wounds, as well as a bruise that had hemorrhaged. Parts of the leg were weeping pus and covered with flies and maggots, a sign that there was tissue death.
Both horses' wounds were life-threatening. The pair was taken to Piper's Rescue Ranch in Mellen Township for evaluation and veterinary care.
The owner of the horses settled the case in Menominee County District Court on Oct. 31, 2011. He paid $3,000 for medical care and treatment for the two horses and $150 for a court-appointed attorney. The owner gave up ownership of the horses, which are still in the possession of Piper's Rescue Ranch.
The horse that had received the gunshot wounds to the withers may need additional surgery to remove bone chips from the area. Care for the horses is paid for by private donations to the Rescue Ranch. Neither horse has healed enough to be placed for adoption.
"I want to thank Equine Veterinary Services, Carrie Cramer and her staff at Piper's Rescue Ranch for their efforts in saving this young team of Clydesdales," said Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks in a press release.
Marks also said that it was one of the most severe cases of animal neglect the Menominee County Sheriff's Office has had to investigate.
The sheriff's department would like to encourage anyone who is unable to care for their animals to contact organizations like Piper's Rescue before the situation reaches abuse or neglect levels. Piper's Rescue Ranch can be reached at (906) 788-4093.