Abuse suspect to lose horses

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:09 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — A man accused of neglecting more than 100 horses on his ranch near Republic will lose his animals and face more counts of animal abuse and neglect.

William Zobel faces a total of 38 misdemeanor counts after 27 counts of animal abuse and animal neglect and two counts of failure to dispose of an animal carcass in a timely fashion were added Tuesday, Greene County assistant prosecutor Dan Patterson said.

Zobel was originally charged with nine counts of misdemeanor animal abuse after rescue workers recovered more than 100 horses on his 180-acre property in January.

Patterson said 120 horses were taken alive, many were thin and emaciated, three were dead and other horse remains were found. Eleven horses have died or been euthanized since.

Investigators said they found little to no pasture for grazing and no other sources of food after the raid, but Zobel disputed the claims.

At a March hearing, Zobel produced receipts showing his purchase of 85,000 pounds of hay and alfalfa cubes over a one month period. He said that was more than the recommended amount of feed for a herd that size.

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