Animal hoarding case costs Oregon county $300,000

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Once they got them all counted, it turns out that 257 animals were seized from a Cave Junction property in what officials consider the worst case of animal hoarding in Josephine County.

The county has spent nearly $300,000 so far to shelter and care for the animals, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

They include 117 miniature horses, as well as a mix of other animals: full-size horses, miniature donkeys, chickens, a peacock, cattle, dogs, cats, goats and pygmy goats.

Kandi Lucile Crow, 61, has been accused of misdemeanor charges of animal abuse and neglect at her Crow's Magical Miniature Horses. She has not entered a plea and is due in court Nov. 19.

She has surrendered the animals to the county.

Now the county is moving to make the animals available for auction or adoption, or in the case of those owned by other people, to allow them to be reclaimed.

The number of animals is higher than initially reported when they were seized over three days in mid-September.

Public Health Director Diane Hoover said it took time to do an inventory, and a precise count has been a moving target. A horse, chicken and puppy have died, and several miniature horses and puppies have been born.

"The animals were in various states of abuse and neglect," said the county's assistant legal counsel, Leah Harper. "All of the large animals showed physical signs of long-term neglect, including lack of dental care and hoof care, and all had parasites. The dogs were underweight with low muscle mass so their bones protruded, and were ravenously hungry and infested with fleas."

Some small animals are being cared for in volunteer foster homes because the animal shelter in Merlin doesn't have room.

The county hopes to recoup money it's spent, but Chief Financial Officer Rosemary Padgett said that until the county secures liens against Crow's property, the money is coming from the county's general fund.

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Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press