Seizures and Habitat for Horses


This past week and a half many people followed the story of the 5 seized horses in Texas City. This is often followed by numerous questions by the public such as “Why can’t anyone rescue them? How do seizures work? Why does it take so long?” It is not so simple as getting a phone call and going to get the horses. Laws must be followed so justice can be fully served.

Texas City Horse RescueNonprofit animal welfare agencies in Texas don’t have the power to do seizures. We work through law enforcement officers under the guidelines of city, county and state law. While we can document, file against and remove any animal that is being subject to physical and/or mental abuse, our ability to do so is given to us by the courts on an individual case basis.

First we file civil charges under the direction of the court. That allows us to remove all the animals on the property immediately. Under Texas law a hearing is held within 10 days and the Judge has the authority to deliver the horses into our hands. If asked, we will then help the law enforcement agency bring criminal charges against the previous owner.

Here is a video of a seizure by Habitat for Horses so you can get a better understanding of how the process works:


AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • OHH JF this is absolutely heartbreaking to see, i can only imagine how it is to be there up close and personal, just look what this suposibly care taker has done to these magnificent Horses , just makes want to give him a tongue lashing, and just shake some sense into them……. God Bless all there , i detected some pretty heavy breathing going on in the Video?????? was that the horses??? And watching this I can see that the horses seem to know why you are there and are completely relaxed , just as if could feel their sense of relief !!!!t as if they know you are there to help them,,,,

    January 19, 2014
  • Sue

    I’d love to see the grey today. He was stunning even with his hips showing!!

    January 19, 2014
  • Robyn Persichitte Gipp

    I too wondered about the heavy breathing?

    This makes me angry! The owner was just few feet away from her starving horses in the pasture as she was eating and going about her life. Pathetic Individual!
    Absolutely no excuse they had gone too long without feed.

    Thrilled they were rescued.

    January 19, 2014
  • I work with a horse rescue here in Wisconsin and these situations are difficult and heartrending. We had been called to one farm and the animal control officer threatened arrest before he finally let us take the 4 that were left. There were other dead animals on the property, as well. The body score on the ones we took was 1 – we lost one filly about a month later, the others are now thriving. Sadly, the DA in our county refuses to prosecute animal abuse cases – he says they are too costly and hard to win. The owner literally got away with murder.

    January 20, 2014
  • Nancy Albin

    I hope they sentence the abusers who did this

    January 25, 2014