69 Neglected Horses Impounded
A criminal investigation is underway after nearly seventy horses were impounded for neglect in Pennington County. The horses were east of Rapid City south of HWY 44 near the Rapid City regional airport off Radar Hill Road. Sixty-nine horses were impounded from owners and caretakers, Donald and Terry Harwood. The couple leased the pasture ground and living quarters - but no longer lived at the place where the horses were.
Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom explains, "The animals had obviously been neglected and they were malnourished. There was no feed on the property and there were indictations that it had gone on for a number of months. We tried to work with the Harwood’s initially. It was clear they didn't have the ability to get the amount of feed that was needed and take care of the horses, so we impounded the horses."
A court order obtained earlier this month approved the sheriff's office plan to release several boarded horses to their actual owners and to transfer ownership of the remaining horses to new ones. Authorities say they are looking at the horse sanctuary and individuals to adopt the horses without homes. Thom adds, "It's always disappointing to see when people aren’t properly taking care of their animals - and agreed to take care of them particularly for other people. It's disappointing."
The amount of animals involved is disappointing and also unusual. The rescued horses are being cared for by neighbors, volunteers, and staff from the Pennington County sheriff's office. Thom says, "We've incurred three to four thousand dollars in costs already in terms of hay, heaters, hoses, getting the proper set up for the horses...and that doesn't include our staff time."
Criminal reports have been sent to the state attorney’s office. Officials say we will hear what those charges are later next week.