PLEASANT PRAIRIE (WITI) -- David White and Paula Moctezuma -- the Pleasant Prairie couple accused of animal neglect after over 20 horses were rescued from the farm and 55 more were found buried in mass graves have agreed to surrender the animals seized from their farm that are still alive.
White and Moctezuma settled a civil suit against them on Wednesday, June 19th -- turning over custody of animals found on their farm to the city of Pleasant Prairie.
FOX6 News has learned of 18 reports regarding the farm over the last decade. 16 of those are complaints were about the farm’s horses. Several were made anonymously. Police were told the horses were skinny, malnourished and treated badly. But time and time again, police reported no evidence of mistreatment.
Police say until recently, they hadn’t found enough evidence to issue a search warrant of the entire property — and around 2012, David and Paula stopped allowing officers to set foot on the farm.
The city has been taking care of animals seized from the farm since they were seized -- at a total cost of $35,000.
Klaus Dierks is the owner of Stonehenge Farm -- where the horses now graze, run and play.
"When they first came they were pitiful, absolutely pitiful. When they started getting fed and getting water, it only took a few days and they started perking up," Dierks said.
Caring for the horses has been a huge undertaking for Stonehenge and Clawz and Pawz Animal Control -- where Robert Melby takes care of other animals seized from the farm.
"Feeding the animals every day, you know, how many times it needs to be fed, keeping the clean water going," Melby said.
Around July 4th, these animals will be available for adoption.
"Truthfully I wouldn`t mind seeing each and every one of them just having a pasture and a friend in that pasture for the rest of their life," Melby said.
The couple's other animals will be up for adoption as well, including cats, rabbits and a dog at the Safe Harbor Humane Society and sheep, goats and birds at another farm.
Given the horses' background, Pleasant Prairie is looking for experienced owners.
"They`re just like children or any other animal they need, you know, something that`s constant or stability," Melby said.
Those interested in adopting the horses and other farm animals should keep an eye on THIS WEBSITE: http://clawzandpawz.info/
People interested in adoption the cats, rabbits or dog should visit Safe Harbor Humane Society's website: http://www.safeharborhumanesociety.org/