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Published October 10, 2012, 09:22 PM

11 horses taken from Lisbon farmer after health concerns

Lisbon, ND (WDAY TV) - State authorities seized 11 horses from a Lisbon area farmer after allegations of abuse and starvation.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Lisbon, ND (WDAY TV) - State authorities seized 11 horses from a Lisbon area farmer after allegations of abuse and starvation.

Robert Dick has been under the eye of the North Dakota State Veterinarians Office after a number of claims to law enforcement from concerned neighbors.

After nearly a year of investigations, Robert Dick stood by as state authorities took away the horses from his rural Lisbon farm.

Robert Dick, Rural Lisbon Farmer: “Tell them to mind their own business. That's all I want.”

Complaints first came last fall from neighbors of Dick's. They claimed he wasn't feeding or watering the animals, and said Dick would even shoot them with a BB gun.

Dick: “Well a BB gun don't hurt them. Their hides are so tough. An electric fences does more to them, much more than a BB gun.”

The horses were so malnourished that several people took their worries to the Ransom County Sheriff's office.

Darren Benneweis, Ransom County Sheriff: “We had went out there. We made contact with him, told him about the complaint about not watering them, he said ‘I'm watering them, I'm taking care of them.’”

Dick admits a few were skinny following the hot summer season, but says some have put on more than a hundred pounds since.

Dick: “They're doing really good right now. Since the cold weather started why, they're doing a lot better.”

State veterinarians, the state's stockmen's association, and Ransom County Sheriff's Department met this morning and decided the best thing for these horses is to get them into better care.

Benneweis: “At the recommendation of the State's Veterinarian's Office is that we were to seize 11 and he was to keep four.”

Dick: “The second vet that came out, I heard through the grapevine that he said I only have four healthy horses, well that's just total garbage.”

Those four are now the only horses he has left, as the rest were loaded up throughout the day.

The horses were taken to an anonymous area in the state for better care. Possible charges against Dick are now in the hands of the North Dakota States Attorney's office.

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