On January 18, police got a tip of animal abuse at the ranch of Darwin Nielson. Animal control workers investigated and found 25 horses in sickly condition. The horses were clearly not being feed. Over the course of the investigation, one of the horses died. On January 23, investigators had enough information to charge Neilson with 25 counts of cruelty to animals.
The animals were in rough shape and too sick to move them from the ranch. Volunteers have been caring and feeding the horses until they are well enough to be adopted.
Police do not think the abuse was out contempt, but may have been a lack of money for feed. After Neilson bailed out of jail, he helped the volunteers care for the horses and find them new homes. Police note that caring for horses can be costly and owners should be aware of the expenses.