Animal owner John Diller has filed a petition for the return of his 39 horses in Pierce County District Court.
The Pierce County Auditor's office was served with a copy on Oct. 15. A hearing date has been scheduled for Nov. 1, at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 127 of the County-City Building. The Pierce County District Court case no is 2Z729364C.
Per state law, the burden will be upon Diller to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that the animals will not suffer future neglect or abuse and are not in need of being restored to health. The Judge will decide whether to return the horses to the animal owner with court imposed conditions or deny the petition which will allow Pierce County Animal Control to proceed with the adoption process. If criminal charges are filed before the hearing date, the petition will be joined with the criminal case.
All 39 horses are still in the care of Pierce County Animal Control and are doing well.
"This hearing simply provides the owner with an opportunity to prove that he can provide adequate care for these horses. The judge could grant full, partial, or no release of the horses. The judge can also order conditions to be met prior to release, or an inspection plan to monitor the horses if any are returned," said Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor. "Our case file is on its way to the Prosecutor's Office."
Editor's Note: This information was supplied by the Pierce County Auditor's Office.
While they wait for the trial date, the 39 seized horses are still in custody of Pierce County. Learn more about how you can help them.