Francine Derby Talks
More than 100 horses, donkeys and ponies were seized from Francine Derby's care last week... after Marion County officials say they weren't being taken care of properly. Derby has a different story.
"It's not for lack of purchasing feed," said Derby.
It wasn't the quantity of the food she fed her animals, but the quality that hurt them.
"The hay was starting to drop a little bit in protein value and in the overall aspect the livestock in general had dropped body weight, and I did notice that and I had already made corrections on that."
Christy Jergens from Marion County Animal Services says the horses that arrived today seized from Derby's care with the condition they're in currently didn't happen overnight.
"Those horses have been lacking in nutrition for quite some time. this wasn't a short term problem this was a long term problem," said Jergens.
Derby says yes the manes might look a little rough, but says it's nothing a little grooming can't fix.
"The situation has really overwhelmed me," said Derby. "The ponies are actually really beautiful. A lot of them are really scruffy and they need to be groomed."
"It could be due to poor nutrition, it could be due to worms, it could be due to rain rot...but one way or the other the animals weren't being taken care of," said Jergens.
"When somebody comes to my gate to purchase something a lot of times the first thing I will tell them is...if you're going to be offended by something that's defective, then maybe this is not the place for you to walk into," said Derby.
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