Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
Knox County Sheriff News
Update on East Knox County Horse Farm
One of the horses taken to the UT Veterinarian Hospital on Wednesday died this morning. During the initial investigation, the mare was found hidden in a barn. She had fallen in her stall, causing her to have a badly injured eye, and seemed starved when Knox County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers found her. She had trouble walking to the trailer to be transported. On the ride to UT, she collapsed in the trailer and the veterinarians did not think she would survive. However, after receiving fluid through an IV on Wednesday, she was able to stand and seemed to be feeling better. However, her health regressed and she died this morning. Animal Control Officers are still in the process of assessing the condition of each horse left at the farm and, if seized, transporting them to Chilhowee Park. Multiple counts of Cruelty to Animals charges are pending. The case will be turned over to the DA’s Office for possible prosecution.
On Wednesday, officers with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit, along with investigators from the Tennessee Department of Agricultural Division of Regulatory Services, arrived at 2837 Voltz Lane in East Knox County to check on the conditions of 98 horses, two llamas, and one donkey on the 35 acre farm. Officers immediately had to transport two horses because of their injuries and poor conditions to UT Large Animal Hospital. The farm was also placed under quarantine by the Tennessee Department of Agricultural Division of Regulatory Services.
On Thursday, Animal Control Officers returned to the farm to continue their inspection. When officers arrived, the carcasses of two dead horses were discovered, resulting in citations from the Tennessee Department of Agricultural Division of Regulatory Services. One horse and one donkey were transported to UT for immediate care. 31 horses were confiscated, bringing the total to 33 taken from the farm.
KCSO Animal Control Officers and veterinarians from the the UT Large Animal Hospital are continuing to assess each animal’s condition. Horse Haven of Tennessee is assisting and providing care for the animals. Working in cooperation with The City of Knoxville’s Public Assembly Facilities, the seized horses have been transported to Chilhowee Park for continued care and observation.
This case was initiated due to several citizen complaints. Animal Control received and executed a search warrant to check the conditions of horses on November 23, 2011 and on February 23, 2012. The owners were cited then for Cruelty to Animals. As a result of the court’s February 27, 2012 decision, the owner was told to comply with random inspections and was given 11 months and 29 days of probation pursuant to TCA 40-35-313.
KCSO Captain Bobby Hubbs feeds one of the horses seized from the farm
(Photo by J. Miles Cary, Knoxville News Sentinel)