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Locals fear slaughterhouse fate for 45 horses taken from alleged abusive farm

HOYT, Kan. (KSNT) - A local judge will decide Thursday if Topeka trainer Frank Johnson abused 45 Hoyt horses.

Over the last 7 months, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office has taken all of Johnson's horses after neighbors complained.

Johnson faces 45 counts of cruelty to animals, and if he is found guilty the horses could go up for auction.

Neighbors and horse experts fear any horses that aren't sold could go to a slaughterhouse. Brenda Grimmett runs a local horse rescue, and explained there aren't many laws protecting horses.

"Horses have to have food and water," Grimmett said. "There is no law that they have to have shelter... I wish there was."

Johnson says the Jackson County Sherrif's Office brought a vet to check out the horses in May 2017. In a document KSNT News obtained, it said the vet declared they were not being neglected and that there was no cause for concern.

"They've had their vet out there four or five times and they told them there was nothing wrong with the horses," said Johnson.

Johnson goes to trial on Thursday and if found guilty, he could face fines, jail time and possibly banned from owning horses again.


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