Rescue team says starving horses were on public official's property

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by Gene Kang

WHAS11.com

Posted on December 16, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 16 at 11:34 PM

A horse rescue team in Nelson County claims a public official had dozens of starved horses on his property for weeks.

And it all started when Harris Horse Rescue emailed WHAS11 a YouTube video of roughly 20 horses in Bloomfield Kentucky, some malnourished and looking very thin.

"They were in horrible condition and with them being that emaciated and visibly being sick it was life-threatening to every horse on this lot," said Charlene Harris, Harris Horse Rescue.

"You don't see it and don't think about it unless those videos got out and saw what was really happening. A lot more people got involved," said Lisa McCullough, who captured the YouTube video.

Problem is, Harris Horse Rescue in Nelson County says the lot at the 3200 block of Wilkerson Road belongs to their County Magistrate, Jerry Hahn.

So, when WHAS11’s Gene Kang drove out to Nelson County and showed up at the Magistrate's lot, he found that all the horses are missing, nowhere to be found.

So where are all the horses? 

A shock to Harris who claims they were there just Tuesday night, she says these pictures and video links started pouring into her rescue the past weeks.

Harris tells us the magistrate never returned her phone calls trying to alert him of the dire conditions.

"These horses being as emaciated as they were, they will end up going to slaughter, slaughter-bound to Canada," said Harris.

Hahn was outspoken and exclaims he has nothing to hide.

In fact, he showed us his own horses just down the street from the lot.

Hahn says the starved horses in the YouTube video were from a stockyard and claims he was only keeping them for an associate in Hardin County where they've returned.  He says he was trying to nurse the horses back to health after getting them from a sale barn and has since taken them back.

"All I was doing was trying to save the horses lives. That's all I was doing," said Hahn.

"I talked to our county judge and everything I talked to them in Frankfort. I wasn't doing anything wrong."

"It's sickening that anyone can get away with this let alone an elected official. He should've been setting an example for everyone else," said Harris.

The Harris Horse Rescue says officials in Nelson County never took legal action against Magistrate Hahn despite knowing about the situation.

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