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Caregiver of seized horses investigated in Maryland - abc27 WHTM

Adams County

Caregiver of seized horses investigated in Maryland

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LITTLESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -

Humane officers in Maryland are now investigating the caretaker of 21 horses seized from an Adams County farm last week.

According to a search warrant in the case, James Houseman has approximately 30 counts pending against him on the other side of the state line. Officials in Frederick County, Maryland  confirmed they are investigating.

The warrant also indicates that Houseman, who leased a property at 135 Fesser Road in Littlestown, had been moving horses from different locations. Investigators say they found a dead horse on the property last week, and two seized horses were too weak to survive.

Humane Society investigators in Adams County have said they are pursuing animal cruelty charges.

The Dutterers, who own the Littlestown property Houseman had been leasing, said they reported the suspected animal abuse. They said Houseman started renting from them in mid-October, but they got suspicious a few weeks later when they hadn't been able to communicate with him.

Denis Dutterer says when she checked on the horses, she was shocked.

"They had white puss coming out of their eyes, their bones were showing," she said, "They would come over to you and kind of looked at you like 'help me.'"

The surviving horses are being nursed back to health at the Adams County SPCA chapter, but horse lovers across the Maryland border are hoping another set of horses will get help.

Houseman is also in charge of about 35 horses on a property near Thurmont. His lawyer told abc27 News that Houseman plans to "vigorously contest allegations of animal cruelty."

However, the veterinarian who treated the horses seized in Adams County has also looked at the horses that were under Houseman's care in Thurmont. He said they are showing similar symptoms of neglect.

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