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Abused Animals Seized

West Salem couple charged with abuse, neglect

POLK COUNTY -- Polk County sheriff's deputies seized 19 animals suspected of being abused by land owners on Oak Knoll Road Jan. 21.

Deputies arrested Gail Solberg, 45, and Lee Ann Lucas, 46. They each faces charges of second-degree animal abuse. The misdemeanor carries a fine of $2,000 or six months in jail.

Volunteers for the Humane Society of the Willamette Valley are trying to help the 19 horses and four llamas.

The animals were seized with the help of workers for the humane society and Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary as well as the Polk County Sheriff's Mounted Posse.

The animals were removed from the farm north of West Salem and transported to a safe location where they will remain until long-term foster homes are found.

"Animal neglect is always a tragedy," said Susan Carey, the humane society's executive director.

"We do everything in our power to aid local authorities in removing animals from neglect situations. As a nonprofit, we rely on community support to give these animals the care they deserve."

All animals will remain in the custody of the Polk County Sheriff's Office and be cared for by Humane Society foster homes until the owner surrenders them or is found guilty of animal neglect.

People can help by donating hay, grain, horse blankets and lead ropes. Donations can be delivered to the Humane Society of the Willamette Valley at 4246 Turner Road SE, Salem.

The humane society is open from noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. weekends.

Cash donations can be sent to: Humane Society of the Willamette Valley, Attn: Horse & Llama Cruelty Case, P.O. Box 13005; Salem, OR 97309.

More information is available by calling 503-585-5900.

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