EAST BETHEL, Minn. (WCCO) — For the second time in two months, horses have been taken away from an Anoka County ranch.

Agents with the Animal Humane Society along with Anoka County Sheriff’s deputies took seven horses from the Arabian Horse Ranch in East Bethel on Friday.

Authorities said they were in such bad shape, veterinarians gave them low scores between one and three. Nine is the best, and four is typically average.

The owner of the Arabian Horse Ranch. Lowell Friday, said his horses are well fed and cared for.

Agents with the Animal Humane Society said that’s not the case. They said the horses were so neglected that almost half of them were taken from the ranch. They appear to be hungry, skinny and lifeless.

Seven horses seized from the Arabian Horse Ranch in East Bethel now call the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center home. Doctors said the animals do not weigh what they should.

“200 to 300 pounds under what they should be,” said Dr. Alex Draper.

Animal Humane Society agents said all it takes is one look at the animals and you can see they’ve been mistreated.

“The animals are ranging from gross emaciation to emaciation in different degrees and we felt it was necessary to remove those animals to preserve their health,” said Keith Streff with the Animal Humane Society.

This is the second time agents have seized horses from Lowell Friday’s ranch. Back in September, agents took 10 horses off the property. Friday said he does not understand why.

Thirty eight days before the first time his horses were taken, he claims the animals had favorable ratings.

“These went from fives down to threes but their weight is 916 pounds, 1,000 pounds, that’s a starving horse. How did it go from a five to a three when all the rest of the fives stayed five,” said Ranch Owner Lowell Friday.

That’s why investigators said they took the animals. To determine if something outside of Friday’s control is causing his horses to waste away.

“Is there some type of pathology outside the control or is there some type of outside contributing factor that continuously and chronically leads to emaciated horses on this property,” said Streff.

Right now there are 37 horses left on Friday’s ranch. Streff said he believes there are too many animals for Friday to maintain.

Once the investigation is complete, the results will be presented to the Anoka County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

Comments (15)
  1. pj says:

    All animals should be immediately removed from this property. Mr. Friday has demonstrated repeatedly that he will not properly care for his horses. This is totally unacceptable.

  2. mel says:

    Are all of these horses his? How can someone afford that many horses? Or is he boarding some?

  3. Sandra Halbleib says:

    Put him on a list of animal abusers. He should never be allowed to ave any animals. People like him are sick!

  4. randy says:

    They are animals. Put on earth by God to be commanded by man. I am not saying that it is right to mistreat them, but wouldn’t you rather see our tax dollars go towards helping a man, or woman, or a child? Animals do not have rights under our constitution, but in this case they are unfortunately being elevated to human-status and personified to the point where we “imagine” that they are human. This can be a slippery slope – Once animals gain minority/protected status in this country, watch out because the only thing left to personify will be the plant life: you won’t be able to cut your grass because it violates the natural life cycle of the blades of bluegrass!

    1. The Crux of the Buscuit says:

      What an idiot you must be……

      1. Citizen says:

        @randy, where did God say “commanded?” I believe there was something about good stewardship of the earth and its creatures….

    2. tan pup says:

      Are you really that horrible of a human being; or just on some sort of mind alterning drug? We are the keepers of these beautiful creatures who have no voice and need to be taken care of properly. How can you say such crewl words! You are a sick sick individual! How can you look at any animal with such hate and disregard! Why such bitterness?Your comments only reflect a sad, sick, miserable and a self absorbed ugly coward. I hope a bird poops on your head as you to your mailbox!

  5. laura says:

    9 is not the best BCS! nine is overly obese, 4-5 is normal and healthy, just a correction.

  6. Michelle says:

    He should never be allowed to own any animals ever again. He has proven time and time again that he is either too heartless, stupid or lazy to properly take care of his horses. Why is he still allowed to own animals? He’s shown for years that he’s is unable to care for his animals.

    1. Gina Benson says:

      It is how the MN law is written that allows him to still own horses. SICK N WRONG, but being MN is a “livestock” state…allows starvation to near or death, until one’s get mad enough and push for action…

  7. horsenut says:

    We most ofter think of Cat hording, but it can happen in horses too. As a nearly 40 year horse owner and breeder I have seen this many times before. Clearly he is over his head in caring for all of theses horses on such comparable horse to acreage ratio . My hope is the county and maybe the Minnesota horse council can give him some financial aid with hay/feed maybe some extra helping hands too, until new homes can be found.
    I don’t think he is bad person, just way over his head and to proud to ask for help. For some reason he is not listening to the voice of reason, and for that I am glad other agency have step in for the horses sake.

    1. called a City Slicker says:

      There were SEVERAL cats removed as well. in Sept… As far as helping him with hay/feed – he has plenty-not the problem. Was tested – 14% food value-ditchweed, grain tested as well , shavings, hulls, dust. However – the horses rescued so far?> 95% of them would not eat grain – had no clue. Many do now… He HAD extra helping hands living there – year after year!!! Could only do what he would allow… (not a good excuse, mind u) Not a bad person, only disfunctional on how to continue care for these horses, unable to!!! Voice of reason? Old School does not have to listen to voice of reason! They’ve been doing it alot longer than we have so we don’t know how to properly care for the needs as he does!!! We’re city people!!! (with 50 yrs. plus owning, caring for and rescuing horses)…

      1. Gina, just a City Slicker says:

        also – My hope would be that MN works on changing the laws of MN, horses are livestock? As long as there’s hay there to be seen, does not include seeing the horse actually “eating it”… nothing they can do!!! Horses DO have “road” rights, maybe give them some “living” decent rights too!!!

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