Abused horses recovering at Spokane Co. Fairgrounds

SPOKANE, Wash. - Abused horses recovering at Spokane Co. Fairgrounds

The 63 horses seized from a west Spokane County property on Friday afternoon are settling in at the fairgrounds. They have a long road of recovery ahead of them says S.C.R.A.P.S. officer Nicole Montano.

"You can almost count the ribs on most of them, he is completely emaciated he is starting to lose muscle mass," Montano said.

Even for someone who has dedicated her career to protecting animals, neglect on this scale is hard to imagine.

"It's very disturbing to see any animal in this condition, to not be getting the food they need and to pretty much just be starving. Starving itself is very painful, its horrible," she said.

The worst part in all of this maybe that the woman who was supposed to be caring for these 63 horses, Janice Hickerson, doesn't understand the damage she has caused.

"This is the second time this year we have served search warrants where we have removed horses. We are not sure why she continues to acquire horses but they are definitely not getting the care that they need," said Montano.

Hickerson, has claimed in the past that she buys abused and neglected horses to rehabilitate them. But in July, in another scraps investigation, dead horses were found on her property. That wasn't the case this time, but Montano says many of the young horses seized yesterday wouldn't have survived the weekend without their help.

Hickerson wasn't home when the latest round of horses was taken and authorities still don't know where she is. She currently has warrants for her July offenses.