45 malnourished and weak horses were seized from Trexler family properties in February 2008. That story shocked the Midlands more than a year ago. That's when police arrested Hazel Trexler and her two sons James and Terry. They're facing 14-felony animal abuse charges. They still haven't gone to trial.
In January 2009, Terry Trexler filed state and federal lawsuits against solicitor Barney Giese claiming Giese was malicious against his family. Over the past year and a half, the humane society has been nursing the animals back to health, but that care is expensive. So expensive, it's putting a strain on the organization's bank account.
The once abused and neglected horses are now constantly grazing. Kelly Graham with the humane society has watched the horses slowly but surely walk the road to recovery.
"We've been able to nurse them back to health," says Graham.
Animal care workers say that wasn't an easy job. In February 2008 the humane society seized the 45 horses. All of the horses were so malnourished their ribs were showing. They were also infested with parasites.
With proper feeding and medical care most of the animals were nursed back to good health; however two horses have died and four have been born.
"Numbers fluctuate but holding steady at 47," says Graham.
Feeding and treating all the animals isn't cheap. The humane society can't put them up for adoption until they legally own them. They're waiting for the Trexler trial to make any moves.
"It's been a long time coming. It's been more than a year now. We've spent over $100,000 caring for them," says Graham.
Because of those expenses, the humane society lobbied lawmakers to introduce the cost of care bill to prevent small organizations like theirs from going bankrupt.
The senate passed that bill during the last legislative session. The humane society hopes the house will do the same next year.