Animal Rescue Operation Continues
In fact, it's so large that county animal officers have not yet been able to visit all the addresses owned by Francine Derby, owner of all the malnourished animals.
While Derby is nowhere to be found, many neighbors and horse lovers offer to do whatever they can for these neglected animals.
"Me and my neighbor have seen stuff you can't even imagine- horses being neglected, three, four, five in a stall, eating feces, no water," said Justine Frankenstein, neighbor.
Frankenstein and many other neighbors do not believe that's an animal rescue operation.
"If, it was a rescue, it would look better," said Frankenstein.
Marion County Code Officers have been out here numerous times over the years, but they were focused on getting compliance from Derby and not on seizing the animals. However, the department was reorganized last month.
"We got some fresh eyes in this situation," said Judge Cochran, a Marion County Public Information Officer. "We have a new leader in this position so we've looked at in a different way. And from this particular investigator's opinion, we moved on it."
Those fresh eyes were Dawn Stephen's. Stephen spent most of her day just feeding and watering the animals on just two of the properties.
These animals will need plenty of care. Animal Service officers will be coming out once or twice a day to feed, water, and care for the animals. The animals in the worst shape will be taken to get constant supervision.
Reports say that Derby may own as many as 5 more properties with neglected animals. County officials will be checking up on those properties in the coming days.
Anyone who would like to help out or has any information about Derby's properties are urged to call Marion County Animal Services.
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