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Malnourished horses returned to owners

READ MORE: Malnourished horses returned to owners
DELCO -- About eight months ago a family in the Delco area had eight horses taken away after animal cruelty investigators say they found evidence of neglect and abuse. Monday the family got the horses back, but not without some concern from those who helped re-nourish the animals. The horses were taken away because investigators say they were severely underweight and now they're being returned to their owners because of a paperwork snafu. Donna Ryan fostered three of the horses. She says when the horses came to her they were malnourished, had worms and their hooves were damaged. The horses are being returned to their original owners because of a paperwork error at the courthouse in Columbus County. The court says the horses must be returned because of an improper search warrant. The owner of the horses did not want to go on camera but says the animals were sick, which explained their low weight. Animal cruelty investigator Lisa Hartman isn't happy with the decision. Hartman said, "Sick. It's been almost eight months, a lot of time, money and labor of love to only have them returned to the same situation." Hartman added she'll continue to check on these animals in the future. Hartman is working with NC State Animal Cruelty officials to make sure clerical errors like this don't happen again in other cases.

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Think of the Children!

Yeah keep the owners children out of this, Iv met this family you are running into the dirt, and they are an extremely nice, Christian family, and do not deserve this, and I for one, am not on Lisa Hartmans side about this, those three horses in that video, they were a child's horses, and I do not believe in hurting a child! Lisa Hartman has a reason for wanting these horses so bad, I think she is Either nuts, or owes someone something I mean people, think about it, it's not normal, she has obviously got a vendetta against this family! And you Das, what god do you worship, Taco Bell?


I missed this retort and Taco Bell has a god? Cool. Maybe the Taco Bell god can keep this "christian" family from abusing horses.

think again

you say "I do not believe in hurting a child!" so they should keep starving there horses until they die just so the child can still have a horse? You must be nuts. Animals dont deserve to be starved to death. Just because they are "nice" people doesnt mean they aren't capable of animal abuse. Wake up lady we are all sinners here. Lisa Hartman is in the right. I back her up 110 percent.

I think the owners

I think the owners children should be left out of this, they look healthy to me. You are getting a little over the line here. When the Animal Investigator first came to see the owners, I wonder if they offered their help or just jumped on these people. Gods even loves people who make mistakes, I wonder if any of you have ever made one or two. I know, I have and God, my family, friends and even some people who didn't know me so well were willing to step in and offer a helping hand. I haven't known one of the owners for very long, but the other I have known for many years, these are not monsters as you are betraying. I also know all the comebacks, will be negative, but thats ok, because we know the truth. All of the facts have not been right, for one thing one of the owners has NEVER lived in Pender County. I sat in on some of the court proceedings and the way it was reported was a little mileading. It is easy to check public records to see if any of the people involve have passed records. I have already checked it, is a matter of public record. The owners have no prior convictions of anykind. I know of several people that have written in telling how much they cared about the owners and none of them have been printed. I would like to know, why.


Your god has nothing to do with this....I didn't see GOD feeding the horses. People that abuse animals are lower than a snails belly. "Gods even loves people who make mistakes" You keep believing that , OK?

Anyone that is heartless

Anyone that is heartless enough to not take care of their animals should be banned from having any animals. To take it a step further they should be rendered infertile because if they can't handle care for animals how do you think they'd fare with children?

Burgaw to ban bees

This Thursday, today the 20th, the Burgaw City Council will attempt to ban bees in the city of Burgaw. Bee Keepers, bee aware, show up and bee noticed. You may affect the vote. Bees are dying in the wild, and our food supply depends on these people bee keeping for a living. Burgaw City Council are ignorant of the rules and regs. Maybe they should see the public's support. If you Love the outdoors, show up. They might ban you next if they can ban bees. You already cannot have anything but one dog and one cat there. So, bees are going to bee next. Tonight, the 20th, Thursday, at 6pm at the Burgaw Town Hall. Come Voice your opinion!

Horses and paperwork

The owner didn't want to go on camera. Anyone know who this is? All 8 horses sick with worms and deteriorated hooves? Hasn't this area seen enough with "paperwork snafus?" I truly hope the horses find a better home or that the owner will actually care for these fine animals better than they apparently had during the sickness...

Yes, we know who they are

Having watched this story all year, yes. It has been told who they are. Do research or reading and you will know who stopped the abuse. Now. You know who they are. Please feel free to stop by and check on these animals. Humanely and dutifully, I appreciate all y'all have done for these horses. Is there a fund we can put into that will help this woman (who we all know has done all she could to help the horses) keep track of those horses? Thanks in advance, Pbsgirl01


I was an Animal Cruelty Investigator, the animal control DOES NOT seize horses when they are bright eyed and walking, they are only seized if they are on the ground, unable to walk. Tell me, were these horse crawling? If not, Lisa is at risk for losing her job, and possibly being sued . I have a lot to tell, and Here it is: Ever wondered why the horses look so emaciated in the pictures? Well, they ARE NOT the same horses, yep, that's right, she Uses paint, on a TOTALLY different horse, because the original horses had been sold. She soaks oats in water over night, then feeds it to the horse to swell the belly up and make the horse look as if it has put on weight, is that dishonesty or what? The only reason she took the horses is because, Number one: She has a vendetta against the Hewett's. And Number Two: She had already had them promised out to anonymous friends of hers, who of which she had already bought them. Lisa is indeed a drunk and a drug addict, she gets extremely nervy when she is either high, or drunk. That's why You can't get rid of her. Back when I ran with her, I bought a horse myself from her, but not long later she came to my home, a told me I didn't pay, and took the horse from me, She does that to a lot of people. You pbsgirl01, should watch your mouth, if anyone goes to these peoples house uninvited, they might risk going to jail, Lisa along with them, because this case is closed, and it is a 100% chance it cannot be reopened, and if it is, It's called double jeopardy. If anyone fights back, Lisa smears their name in the paper, internet, feed stores, and wherever else she can find, because she thinks she can get away with it. Have you seen the donation cans in stores? Well, that's her pocket change, she shares NONE of it! Oh, and the horses on the posters and cans, are not the same horses, they have paint on them to make their markings precise to match the original horses. As Animal Cruelty Investigators, we are supposed to tell you where you horses are taken, but she never does, because, she doesn't want the owners to know THEY HAD BEEN SOLD BEFORE SHE TAKES THEM. So people, if Lisa comes to your home, Call 911, because she has no means to 'help you out', she only plans to take your horses from the start. Don't get scared if she comes in your yard, she is nothing more than a tick on a dog's ass. Get mad all you want to Lisa, but WE ALL know the truth.

emaciated equines

This makes me sick. The owners should be fined, a lien put on their property, they should also be jailed without nutrition so they can begin to understand how these innocent animals must feel, waiting day after day, week after week, for someone to notice they had no food or hay. An eye for an eye should apply here. These pathetic people should never be allowed to own any type of animal in the future. Their horses have been rehabbed by caring foster homes & they should now let them remain in foster care permanently or new homes found for them, but certainly never returned to these monsters. Can you imagine the stress these horses are under going back to those horrible surroundings?


We are friends of the hewetts. Who toid you there was no food or hay for the horses?Who are you to judge these people.You dont know anything about the Hewetts.Why didnt you go sit in on the court cases ?If you had you would have seen that the Hewetts did none thing wrong.The Hewett are not the bad guys,the other side is.

Your anger is misplaced

Be angry at the courts for screwing this up. The investigators didn't do their dayum job right and now the animals have to suffer more. Get THAT through you thick head. Sure, go cry about the abuse, but its on the investigators that have caused their agony if there is any now. It's easy for you to whine and cry, but don't blame the wrong people.

misplaced anger

The volunteer investigators did their job. The case was dismissed because the warrant was not written adequately by a county official. Investigators cannot write warrants, but must rely on the proper authorities to do so.


it took eight months to restore the health of these animals. eight months from now we will see a story about how these animals have returned to their poor state of health. i hope and pray to God that the animal control people keep a critical eye on this situation. my heart goes out to these innocent creatures that should never have been given back to the careless owner again. animals have feelings too.

Re: Malnourished Horses

How absolutely ridiculous & sad at the same time. The owner of the horses obviously never cared & now there are people who do. Paper work...who cares. Get those horse new homes as they may not make it the next time if underfed, etc.....

Story Leaves Unanswered Questions

I am a firm believer in the rule of law and unfortunately, if the letter of said law is not followed by those who are entrusted to uphold it, the bad guys win. There are several tragedies going on here, but I'd like to address the quality of the journalism. I came away from this story with several questions left unanswered by the reporter. For example: What exactly was the nature of this paperwork "snafu" that has cost the Columbus County Tax Payers money and possibly these horses their lives. SNAFU is just a euphemism for MAJOR CLUSTERBOINK, or as some prefer... an acronym for "Situation Normal, All Fouled Up". I would have liked more information on the problem with the search warrant. Also, how much was spent re-nourishing the animals? What additional resources will be spent continuing to monitor the situation following the horses' return to their owners? How will this follow-up be accomplished? Will there be a reprimand for the County employee for this costly mistake? Had the rule of law been followed, would there have been a fine assessed the negligent owners? I'd like to see more news worthy details from WWAY. Columbus County and these animals deserve better coverage!