MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sheriff’s deputies in Wisconsin are investigating a horse farm where neighbors say the animals are starving.

The Polk County sheriff said four horses were found dead at Otter Creek Ranch.

The surviving horses are still on the property as of Thursday night. Investigators are waiting for tests to be done on two of the dead horses before deciding if they’ll seize others.

Chris Nelson, a neighbor, says he went on the farm to donate hay and was appalled at what he saw.

“All their ribs are sticking out, their hip bones, their back bones, their withers, every bone in their body is sticking out, it’s just skin and bones, you know,” Nelson said. “You’ve seen what starving human beings look like, starving horses look the same way.”

A donations page was online Thursday, and the person who made it says some people are out to sink the ranch.

Deputies say they are working with the county attorney and animal investigators to figure out if criminal charges will come.

But they say that since the investigation began, marked improvement has been made on the ranch.


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