GRAHAM, Wash. — Last week, animal control officers seized 27 horses from a property in Graham after serving a warrant at the property with the help of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department (PCSD).
"Right now we haven't brought any charges against the owner,” said PCSD spokesperson Sgt. Darren Moss Jr.
Moss said once the investigation is complete, the findings will go to the prosecutor’s office so a decision can be made about whether to file charges.
"Animal control officers had been to that property in the past. They have had multiple complaints in the past, and they finally had enough for probable cause to get a warrant,” said Moss.
Though Pierce County didn't have recent data available, King County shows in the last few years the number of animal cruelty calls climbing, from 673 reports in 2019 to 784 reports in 2021.
As for cases like the one in Pierce County, the sheriff's department says it takes time to organize the resources to get the horses off the property. That's where people like Bonnie Hammond step in to help.
Hammond is the Executive Director of Save A Forgotten Equine, and in addition to rescue work, the organization can be called on for resources, like trailers to help animal control move horses.
"We support animal control in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, primarily,” said Hammond. "There's no government money. Very little comes from animal control. So, we really rely on the general public to help us complete our mission and take care of these horses."