Woman facing animal cruelty charges may have fled state

SPOKANE, Wash. - horse rescue vo

SCRAPS is getting assistance from the ASPCA to take care of 63 neglected and malnourished horses seized from Janice Hickerson's property last Friday.

Twice this year SCRAPS seized starving horses from Hickerson's West Plains property.  In July 26 were seized; 63 were seized this last Friday. She's facing 21 counts of animal cruelty in the first case and more charges will likely be filed in the second case.

Most of the horses are being cared for at the Spokane fairgrounds while the most critical are at Ponti Vet Clinic in Otis Orchards.

"It's still a grocery issue. Getting the hay in them and supplementing them with senior equine," said Nicole Montano with SCRAPS.

A $5,000 grant from the ASPCA was used to buy hay to feed the horses.

"We're going to be going through this hay pretty quickly. We just ordered 10 tons and I'm anticipating it's going to last us a week," Montano said.

Donations are being found and brought to the fairgrounds to care for the horses but more is needed.

One thing that hasn't been found is Janice Hickerson. Some believe Hickerson, who has three weeks to appeal the seizure of the horses before a court gives custody to SCRAPS, has fled the state.

"It could be a phone conversation, if she wants to come into the shelter, if she wants to meet me at the fairground, I'd love to talk to her," Montano said.