New task force's citations strike fear in some homeowners

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Horse owners in Acres Homes say they're afraid a recent police crackdown could cause them to lose their horses.

Horse owners in Acres Homes are organizing, fearing a crackdown by police could cause them to lose their horses.

This week one property owner who rents stalls to a dozen horse owners was cited for violations related to their living conditions. Frank Evans tells Eyewitness News he was told all the horses had to be removed so he could make changes. The problem is he says his property has been the same for years.

"It ain't right. Why are they bothering us? That's my point. Why are you bothering the people who are doing fine?" said Evans.

Another woman showed us her long list of violations, none of which was for abuse or neglect.

Houston police say they're just enforcing the law to keep the horses and the general population safe. Recently HPD, Houston Humane Society and Crime Stoppers launched a task force to educate the community on how to properly care for horses and to prosecute those who don't.

Police estimate there are about 1,000 horses in the Acres Homes area, a north Houston community with a country feel.

About 40 people gathered Thursday night concerned their right to due process has been violated. They are organizing and vow to stick together to ensure their way of life that includes horses doesn't change.

"My fear is them coming to my neighborhood and taking all the horses away," said Rotonda Pete.

Pete plans to set up an organization to accept donations and feed for the horses.

The task force, called Monty's Task Force after a badly neglected horse, will hold its first event this Saturday in the parking lot of HPD North, 9455 W. Montgomery Rd. Houston Humane Society's Chief Veterinarian will be on site to administer free microchips to help deter horse theft and to administer low cost vaccines.
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