Hearing set in horse abuse case

IVANHOE – A pre-trial hearing has been rescheduled for Sept. 12 in Lincoln County in the case of a man charged with one count of overwork/mistreatment animals-torture and nine counts of animal health-disposal of domestic animal carcasses by burial or burning.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Aug. 1.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

According to documents provided by the Fifth Judicial District Court on April 28, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting two to three dead horses in a pasture outside of Hendricks and other horses the caller described as “starving.”

Lincoln County Deputy Nathan Nafziger conducted a preliminary investigation and determined the owner of the property was Michael Louis Hansen, 60, of Ivanhoe.

On April 29, Lincoln County Sheriff Jack Vizecky met with veterinarian Roxanne Nielsen of the Western Veterinary Clinic in Tyler, who examined 10 horse carcasses and determined they had died of starvation.

The carcasses were disposed of by burning onsite as a health risk. The five surviving horses were taken to the Pipestone Livestock Auction Barn.

According to court documents, Hansen, owner of Ivanhoe Feed and Seed, denies he starved the horses and claimed he left them hay purchased from Kenneth Rybinski of Ivanhoe as recently as April 22 or April 23.

Court documents said Hansen said he was feeding the horses CRP hay.