A Polk County woman who faced 22 charges of animal neglect, now has to give up her horses, lamas and goats after they were discovered in poor health.

Deputies said 50-year-old Donna Dovey pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree animal neglect.

Sixteen horses were discovered living in a muddy field near Dallas, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Some of the animals have large abscesses and are extremely underweight. Experts said a few animals may need to be euthanized, but one local rescuer says she isn’t giving up.

“They’re in pain, they’re in a lot of pain. These horses are survivors,” said Debbie Driesner, of Mustangs and MOHR in Dallas, Oregon.

Six horses with a painful past are now in a safe place, with Driesner. But the battle isn’t over, some of the rescues are now fighting for their lives.

Rescue volunteers spend hours brushing the horses. Driesner said many itch all over from standing out in the rain.

“This is the result of rain rot, where the hair falls out on the back. Some people get in over their head, and need to reach out. Other people with hoarding problems, they need help,” said Driesner.

For Driesner, this rescue is a painful and difficult experience.

“You can see the hip bone, the backbone and the ribs. The light in their eyes comes back in a few days it’s amazing to see,” said Driesner.

Now, Debbie says, she can feel the love from the horses, and hopes others will too.

“He’s a nice horse, he’s adoptable. He hope to find him a forever home.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said they recently discovered a second location with more animals, also owned by Dovey. Most of those animals have been rescued as well.

Two horses and two llamas are still in need of a home. If you’re interested, or if you’d like to help Debbie, just give the Polk county sheriff’s office a call. 503-623-9251.

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