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The horses had been seen eating wooden fence boards and blackberry vines, signs that no other food was available along the 12000 block of Southeast Winston Road

A rescue team from the Oregon Humane Society seized three horses last month from a woman in Damascus and discovered the body of a dead horse on the property. The owner was cited for three counts of animal neglect.

PHOTO COURTESY: OHS - Horses seized on Feb. 23 by Oregon Humane Society investigators in Damascus.In observing one of the horses, an OHS special agent stated that "even through the (horse's) thick winter coat I could see the outline of his entire ribcage. ... The observed body condition of all three horses indicated inadequate quantity and quality of food to maintain proper body condition."

The horses had been seen eating wooden fence boards and blackberry vines, signs that no other food was available along the 12000 block of Southeast Winston Road in Damascus.

An OHS investigator estimated that two of the horses on the property had body conditions, when ranked on a nine-point scale, of one or two. A score of one equals extreme emaciation. The third horse was estimated to have a body score of two or three.

Last month's execution of a search warrant on the property stems from a report by a concerned member of the public.

OHS executed a search warrant on the property on Feb. 23 with the assistance of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, animal handlers from Sound Equine Options, and an equine veterinarian. The horses were transported to an undisclosed location where they will receive medical exams and any needed treatment. The horses are evidence in a criminal case and are not available for adoption at this time or viewing by the public.

The owner of the animals, Christine Davis, was cited for three counts of second-degree animal neglect and is scheduled to be arraigned in Clackamas County on March 23.

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