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The owner of 39 horses that were seized last month from property in Graham has filed a petition to get the horses back.

The Pierce County officials said officers found the horses on the property living in deplorable conditions. Many of the horses had medical issues, some were very thin, and some had various types of injuries. Most of the horses were in barns that had large amounts of urine and feces in the stalls as well as in the aisles.

The owner of the horses, John Diller, filed the petition in Pierce County District Court.

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said a hearing scheduled for Nov. 1 simply provides the owner with an opportunity to prove that he can provide adequate care for the horses.

The judge could grant full, partial, or no release of the horses, said Anderson. The judge can also order conditions to be met prior to release, or an inspection plan to monitor the horses if any are returned. Our case file is on its way to the Prosecutor's Office.

If criminal charges are filed before the hearing date, the petition will be joined with the criminal case.

All 39 horses are in the care of Pierce County Animal Control and are doing well.

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