SEAGOVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County authorities responded to a farm Monday where a man is accused of hoarding nearly 300 starving horses and found about a tenth of that number.
Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies spent the afternoon combing owner Vincent Offord’s property, searching for signs of neglect.
An animal rescue group sent authorities a number of photos after seeing a roadside ad offering a “buy a horse, get one free deal.” The photos featured malnourished and dead animals, triggering the investigation, department spokesman Raul Reyna said.
“What we believe right now, and this is before we get all the evidence and everything put together, is that he was trying to get help for the horses,” Reyna said. “So, he was trying to do the right thing; what we believe so right now.”
Angela Tilley, a member of the group Throwaway Ponies, brought a trailer Monday to remove a pony that she says won’t survive one week in the cold weather.
She said members of the group found a “massive graveyard of nothing but entire horse skeleton bones” and have seen hungry horses eating bark off nearby trees.
Police found nothing of the sort during the investigation Monday.
“I feel like he’s a hoarder,” Tilley said. “He’s admitted to various parties that he has 300 horses on the properties.”
Offord denies those claims, saying he’s baffled as to why authorities launched the investigation. He pointed to hay bales as proof that his horses –– police found 38 of them Monday –– are being fed. He also has veterinarian bills that show medical care.
“Why do they wanna take my horses? I feed my horses everyday,” he said. “I’m a horse carer. I care about horses.”
Reyna says the initial investigation points to Offord buying sick horses at auctions so they can be nursed back to health and resold.
He denies taking on more than he can handle, but says he could use financial help for better care.
“All of them get their checkbooks together, give me $10,000 and we can make these look like mountains,” Offord said.
Late Monday, Offord offered to give the horses away to anyone with a trailer that can safely haul them.
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