One of the from a private property in Plainfield Township was pregnant -- with twins.
In addition to not having access to clean water, the brown mare had suffered a broken leg. According to Jackie Burke of Last Chance Ranch, the break is an old injury that fused.
Officer Scott E. Zabriskie said animal cruelty charges will be filed within the next two weeks against the owner, Dominic Deflorio, 63, of Princeton, N.J.
In total, 15 horses belonging to Deflorio were seized from the property at 5326 Kesslersville Road. Police were called to the scene on Saturday for a report that four horses were loose in the area of Youngs Hill and Kesslersville roads. Neighbors had captured the horses, which had apparently escaped through a hole in the fence at the property before police arrived.
The four horses were immediately , a non-profit animal rescue center, according to Zabriskie.
Officers were then led to the private property where it was suspected the horses originated.
Upon arrival, police spotted two horses that were suffering with serious leg injuries and “in dire need of veterinary care,” according to court records.
Along with the brown mare, a brown colt had a leg wound that maggots were eating through and exposing bone. The animal is scheduled to have surgery on Friday to clean and repair the wound, according to Burke.
According to an application for a search warrant on file at , Zabriskie wrote that he “believes the seizure of the … two horses is necessary for their survival, as they require immediate veterinary care, of which the owner ... is unwilling to provide."
From the description in the search warrant, the fenced-in area appeared to be ill suited for caring for the animals. There was no source of clean water on the site -- only “a green, algae-ridden pond” and “one water trough, partially filled with dirty water.”
The trough is located “at the bottom of a large ravine,” the warrant says. “Due to the location of the trough, one of the horses observed on the property could not access the water trough.”
The responders also could provide no water to the animals from the property itself. Water service to the property had been shut off, Zabriskie wrote.
The remaining nine horses were seized Tuesday and also transported to Last Chance Ranch, according to Zabriskie.
A vet examined all of the horses Tuesday, Burke said, adding that all of the horses are expected to recover.
Care for the animals is expected to cost at least $10,000. Donations can be made via the ranch's secure website or by calling the ranch at 215-538-2510.
All of the horses will receive proper care, feeding and training with hopes that they may be available for adoption in several months.