Horse Haven needs your help with malnourished animals seized from Vista Farms

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Chilhowee Park is a make-shift hospital for the horses being treated by Horse Haven and the Knox County Animal Control.

According to Horse Haven's Executive Director, they need your help in treating the malnourished animals.

But they ask for yo NOT GO TO CHILHOWEE PARK.

Nina Margetson, Executive Director of Horse Haven of Tennessee says, "Due to the sensitivity of this case and for the welfare of the horses, the public will have limited access to the fairgrounds.
The groups responsible for this rescue are Knox County Animal Control and Horse Haven of Tennessee. There are several ways you can help the horses."

1. Horse quality hay and financial donations are our biggest needs right now. To donate hay, please call (865) 609-4030 and financial donations can be made by mail to
HHT – P.O. Box 22841
Knoxville, TN 37933
the Horse Haven website

2. Donations can also be made to the State of Tennessee Equine Rescue Network (STERN)

Donations by cash or check can be made at any REGIONS BANK. Let them know it is a donation to “STERN”

3. Those wishing to donate supplies and food may go to any Tractor Supply located in Sevier, Knox, Blount, Loudon, or Sevier counties and purchase items on our wish list that will be used to benefit the horses from this case.

4. Offer foster care to current horses at Horse Haven who are available for adoption to help open up spaces at our facility to enable us to remove these animals from the fairgrounds as soon as possible.

Horse Haven asks the public not to go to the fairgrounds to donate or help without getting prior approval.

Knox County Sheriff's Office had to take 33 horses from a large farm because of the poor conditions.

The animal control unit and investigators went to a 35 acre farm on 2837 Voltz Lane in East Knox County to check on the condition of the animals Wednesday afternoon.

That includes 98 horses, two llamas, and one donkey.

One horse and one donkey had to be taken to UT Large Animal Hospital immediately. 31 others were taken to Chilhowee Park.

The Tennessee Department of Agricultural Division of Regulatory Services put the rest of the animals are now under quarantine.

When animal control officers went back to the farm Thursday, they found two dead horses.

KCSO Animal Control Officers and veterinarians from the the UT Large Animal Hospital are looking at each animal’s condition.

Horse Haven of Tennessee is assisting and providing care for the animals.

Working in cooperation with The City of Knoxville’s Public Assembly Facilities, the seized horses have been transported to Chilhowee Park for continued care and observation.

The owner could face multiple counts of cruelty to animals once the case is turned over to the district attorney's office. They have already been cited for one county of cruelty to animals based on a search on an earlier search.

The sheriff's office says the owner was told to comply with random inspections and was given 11 months and 29 days of probation pursuant to TCA 40-35-313.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lauren on Mar 11, 2012 at 09:53 AM
    33 horses on 35 acres??? A "good" person would not allow their horses to starve. This sounds like a hoarder to me. God Bless HHT and everyone else involved for taking care of these lovely animals.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 01:43 PM
    The media needs to tell the whole truth with this story, and they are not!!!!! Linda is a very very good person! Shame on the media!
  • by Renee on Mar 5, 2012 at 08:09 PM
    Why haven't they released the name of the person responsible for this crime? They have released information previously on other cases.
  • by Nina Location: Knoxville on Mar 5, 2012 at 05:41 PM
    That would be greatly appreciated. Please email me so we can discuss how we can go about getting.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lenoir City on Mar 5, 2012 at 03:50 AM
    Shame on her....there needs to be some changing of our laws! I personally believe that once your animals have been seized you should LOOSE all rights to be an animal owner. Thank you Horse Haven for all you do :-)
  • by Jo ann Location: Riverdale on Mar 3, 2012 at 01:54 PM
    Wow this is vista farms i know linda shes got a vista farms page on facebook i think everyone should tell her how bad she is for starving those poor horses. If u people only knew how many dead horses are really hidden and buried on her farm cuz i do i know of 18 personally. Mmm shame shame
  • by Russ Location: Strawberry plaines on Mar 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM
    Looks like linda cowell of vista farms finally got busted. Her sons a fed agent they wont do anything to her. She will just give up her rights to the poor starving horses n get a ticket watch and see the courts wont do a thing to her..
  • by donor Location: ooltewah on Mar 3, 2012 at 08:18 AM
    I have 200 bales of timothy /orchardgrass I would be glad to donate
  • by Katy Location: Corryton, TN on Mar 2, 2012 at 05:49 AM
    I'm sure all of the horses will be carefully monitored. They are being removed by condition - the worst cases first. It's just a huge number of animals to manage at one time. Donate hay, feet, time!
  • by me on Mar 2, 2012 at 04:05 AM
    I feel if its a boarding farm. The owners of the horses should also be charged and held accountable. They buy these horses and board them and never go to check them or ride them. A lot of boarding farms are hay fed only n they need grain also. And for the owners to tend to them. A lot of boarding is just to give them a place to keep them. I think if you don't have land to keep a horse then there should be a law u can't buy one!
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