By: Cole Miller
The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office is trying to find answers in a bizarre case over the weekend. 11 horses were abandoned near Malcolm, then gone the next morning.
Cell phone pictures show very thin and what appear to be very hungry horses. Cindy Marshall snapped them this past Saturday night. She was leaving her Malcolm home when she saw the 11 horses grazing on her land. It's believed they were abandoned by their owner.
"Some of the horses were in extremely poor shape. I'd say there were only a couple that looked ok," Marshall said.
Marshall says she called the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, then the Humane Society.
"I said it was ok for them to stay there andIi gave them some food and water. The next morning when I got up, at about 6 a.m., they were gone. I just have no idea what's going on," Marshall said.
It's a problem that some say is growing. Lin Beaune works with Epona Horse Rescue in Crete. She says they're at capacity and after this summer's extreme drought, hay prices are very high and some horse owners are having trouble feeding their animals.
"We just took a mare from eastern Nebraska that they just couldn't feed anymore," Beaune said. "They had no hay, no place to find hay, hay was too expensive. This had been their beloved pet for 4 years."
As for these horses, Marshall thinks the owner may have come back and picked them up. She just hopes they're in good hands.
The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office says abandonment or cruel neglect of animal can range from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony. They're continuing to look for the owner of the horses.