Authorities say a special unit that responds to animal abuse will handle a case involving more than a dozen dead and malnourished horses found in a Colorado barn. KRDO-TV reports that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office mounted unit is investigating the Friday discovery of the horses in Black Forest, near Colorado Springs. A woman renting the property says she found the dead horses—some no more than skeletons—under Lye and tarps, when one of the German Shepherds she's raising broke free into the barn, KKTV reports.
At least eight horses were alive but in extremely poor health. Sgt. Gregory White says investigators could not legally seize the living horses because they were not in immediate danger. Authorities gave them water and food. White says the woman who owns the horses has been cooperative in making a plan to improve their health and conditions and has agreed to clean the property. She isn't facing charges but is "under supervision" by authorities, KKTV reports. (Read about an elephant sanctuary founder who was "crushed by an old friend.")