- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thirteen animals found living in extremely neglectful conditions on a Mississippi property have been rescued.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said Wednesday that his office, along with Animal Control, Animal Rescue Corps and Redemption Road Rescue found five horses in pens, a mini-horse chained to a tree, three dogs chained to posts and four cats running loose - all without “adequate” shelter or access to food and water. The property is in Alpine, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Memphis, Tennessee.

“These poor animals have been suffering for a long time from neglect and they needed immediate medical attention,” said ARC Director of Animal Welfare Kim Rezac. “These Mississippi summers are extremely hot and chaining an animal to a post without access to water is very cruel.”

ARC, a nonprofit, said the animals had dirty, open wounds and infestations of internal and external parasites. Many were also emaciated.

Redemption Road, based in Jackson, Tennessee, has custody of the horses and “will work to bring them back up to weight through a series of small, multiple feedings,” said Michael Cunningham, a spokesman for ARC.

“Horses generally seem big and strong, but they’re actually quite fragile,” he said.

Cunningham said the county’s animal control agency contacted them about the situation after recognizing they would not be able to handle the rescue by themselves.

Each of the rescued animals will receive a veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations and any necessary medical treatment, ARC said. ARC and Redemption Road will provide daily care until legal custody is determined and the animals can be placed permanently.

Edwards thanked the organizations for their help.

“We know when we call them for assistance, we’re doing what’s best for the animals,” he said.

Edwards said an arrest is pending and the person will likely face multiple misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

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