EAST BETHEL, Minn. (WCCO) — Only two malnourished horses were taken from an East Bethel farm on Monday afternoon, but more might be taken as early as Tuesday, investigators said.

Animals rights activists and local horse owners showed up at N.V. Arabian Ranch on the northern edge of the Twin Cities, demanding something be done for the 64 horses on the farm that are owned by Lowell Friday.

“He needs to be held accountable for the way he treats these animals,” said Sharon Riley who used to work for Friday on the farm.

Riley helped take a couple hundred pictures of what she considers to be malnourished horses that are sick. She finds the pictures, which show some horses with visible sores, disturbing.

Investigators from the Animal Humane Society, along with two veterinarians, searched the farm and examined the animals.

“Yes, there are some that are thin and underweight,” said Jeff Johnson, a veterinarian from Chisago County.

Johnson and the Humane Society investigators were let onto the property voluntarily by Friday. They did not have a search warrant, but said Friday let them examine the animals and search both his properties in Anoka County.

Investigators said they found two horses that were very thin and needed immediate medical attention.

Friday defended how he cared for the horses, pointing to veterinarian examinations just this summer.

“So we’re talking in the last month these horses were OK. Now all of a sudden, I got a problem. That’s hard to believe, wouldn’t you say,” he said. “You’ll see they got good, shiny coats, and they’re in well, good shape.”

Investigators could legally only take the two malnourished horses off the property. They’re being cared for at the University of Minnesota, and veterinarians said they had to take them off the property in order to have any chance at saving them.

“We have to be able to demonstrate and articulate that a crime is occurring and convince a judge these animals need to be removed. We’re going to use every resource to see if we can do that tomorrow,” said Keith Streff, a Humane Society officer.

Another eight horses might soon be taken from the farm in East Bethel, ending a long fight for animal rights activists as well as the misery that Riley and her colleagues say the horses are living through each day.

“I hope everybody will join the fight to get others taken from him,” Riley said. “He needs to be shutdown.”

Comments (15)
  1. M Br says:

    You may want to explain that comment, or someone’s liable to call you a racist bigot…
    Hopefully those horses will get the help they need.

    We watch animal cops on animal planet and I always wondered why the Twin Cities didn’t have a humane law enforcement unit that worked with the police… We (the Twin Cities) are the same size as Houston.

    “Humane Society Officer”?? Does he have any legal law enforcement powers? I would be interested to see what laws are actually in place here.

    1. em0886 says:

      I see Tina’s comment is not on here anymore!! hahaha

  2. LuLu says:

    That’s an interesting way to view this injustice.

  3. Tami says:

    This so called man has been charged multiple times with abuse to his horses, yet the law claims they cannot just take all of his animals away. I say BS. Anyone who knows or knows of this man has tried to get the law to protect those poor animals. The laws in Minnesota regarding protection for animals is pathetic (because there aren’t any!) What do we need to do as a society to protect those who cannot protect themselves? Just who do we need to make listen? Maybe those people need to be brought to a couple of these houses and see if they can stomach seeing the abuse that has been heaped on these defenseless animals. I’ve seen this SOB walk around arrogantly and ignore people who make comments to him about his mistreatment of animals. It’s about time justice is served!!!!

  4. em0886 says:

    I agree that this situation is very sad because the horses have no say in how they are treated so we must be their voice and get them the help they need and shut him down if necessary. I don’t agree with your comment of paying more for black children however; I didn’t know that African-American children

    1. em0886 says:

      were the only ones on assistance; I am white and on assistance….I just think that while you may have a point that the state hands out more in MFIP benefits then it does to save the animals is accurate your racial comment was not so accurate.

      1. adding in says:

        white and on assistance, but want to be black seeing how you live your life.

  5. GN says:

    Amazing what is happening when the do gooders through Congress destroyed the entire horse industry 5 years ago. 50 billion dollar industry and 200,000 jobs.
    GO DOGOODERS!!!!!!! The hogs sure do enjoy those $1.00 colts. They make real good protein supplements. The said part is that you would not be seeing this nor the loss of jobs, the abuse of horses which has been greater in the last 5 years than in the last 100 years if the dogooders would get their head out of the sand.

  6. steph says:

    Removing the 8 today is only a start. He has 12 stallions on that property and continues to breed horses. It is disgusting. All the cats were removed, but for some reason, the majority of the horses had to stay. 22 acres is not even close enough for 70 horses he has. Not to mention portions are wetlands and there are 2 maybe 3 barns, and a house on that 22 acres. He is a sick man and someone needs to step in for these horses.

  7. Wake Up says:

    If this would have been children he would have been jailed a long time ago, but because it’s animals somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. Abuse and neglect are serious issues and it shouldn’t matter whether it was an animal or a human being. All the animals need to be removed NOW and he should never be allowed to have anymore. How many more animals need to suffer or die at the hands of this man before the authorties do something. Thank you to the people who stepped forward and offered to foster the animals until they can be placed in proper homes, it just goes to show that there truly are some good people left in this world.

  8. renee says:

    I worked there years ago its a living hell for those horse and everyone else

  9. Tami says:

    Tina’s comment was shallow and it makes no sense as to why she turned the comments from the poor animals to black people and welfare. This article had nothing to do with people of any color or welfare, other than the welfare of those poor animals. Let’s keep the focus where it belongs – on getting these animals rescued and the rotten SOB who abused them arrested (with no food or water, just like he did the animals)!!

  10. rose says:

    What about those rescuers helping with the care of the remaining horses? Wouldn’t they also be helping those same horses at a horse rescue farm? So why not help those horses at the Friday farm? Just a thought….

  11. Equine Abby says:

    Hopefully, the authorities will keep a close eye on the remaining horses.

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