Kiefer's Horses Recover From Abuse - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Kiefer's Horses Recover From Abuse

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Its been a year since nearly a hundred horses were found dead on William Kiefer's property in Morton County and more than a hundred more were seized.

The horses are doing well and have each been able to put on weight after being starved nearly to death last year.

When Darla Fleming heard about the condition of the horses on William Kiefer's property last year she knew she had to help.

"We went out there with a state of mind, and to this day I don't remember a lot of the stuff that I seen out there because it was awful. We went out there with the fact that we had to get the horses out of there, we had to get the horses tagged and blanketed," says Fleming.

What she wasn't expecting that day was to add one of them to her family.

"I didn't want to adopt one, my husband did on the way home. He asked the sheriff what it would take to get one of the horses, and he just had a spot in his heart for the last horse we did at the end of the day. He was number 98 and we set out to achieve that horse," says Fleming.

They named him Jackson and were able to bring him home the next day. But besides needing food, Fleming says he needed extra love.

"You couldn't touch him, you couldn't pet him," she says. "I used to go up there for hours, a couple hours at night in the cold and just stand there. He didn't know what a treat was, so as he would eat the feed I would start petting him."

But Fleming wasn't the only volunteer to end up adopting one of the horses, another said she didn't have a choice, the horse picked her.

"She just was knickering to me and calling to me and wouldn't leave me alone. So she adopted me, I didn't adopt her," says Lyndasue Luukinen.

Like Jackson, Scratch needed extra attention once she was brought home.

"You could count every one of her vertebrae, her hip bones were sticking out. She was just sunken in. There was no meat on her neck, her chest was sunken in, obviously you could count her ribs," says Luukinen.

But that's not the case anymore. In the last year she has put on over 800 pounds.

"She'll never get like that ever again as long as she's in my care," she says.

And now that she's healthy Luukinen is able to enter her in horse shows, where she's doing well.

As for William Kiefer, the man charged with animal abuse and starvation, was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail with six months suspended. All of the horses rescued from his property have been adopted.


   

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