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The Associated Press

The Pierce County prosecutor says a 69-year-old Graham man accused of failing to properly care for more than three dozen horses has been charged with 10 counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

John Diller is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 27.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said yesterday that Pierce County Animal Control was called in late September after a federal agent executing a search warrant at the property saw the horses living in what Lindquist calls “deplorable conditions.”

He says most of the horses were underweight and their hooves were overgrown and cracked. Stalls and paddocks had excessive piles of manure.

Thirty-nine horses were removed for care and treatment. Eight have been humanely euthanized and Diller later successfully petitioned for the return of 11 horses.

Lindquist says nine are available for adoption and the remaining 11 have been adopted or may be available for adoption later.