UPDATE: Timothy Allen and Tracey Buzzell were in court Tuesday and charged with one count of abandonment and cruelty to animals.
Eighteen horses believed to be abused and neglected in Antrim County are recovering at a horse rescue ranch in Frederic.
The Antrim County Sheriff, Animal Control, and multiple horse rescuers rescued the horses from an farm on Toad Lake Road in Ellsworth Thursday evening.
Over twenty volunteers from across the state arrived with ten trailers to help transport the horses.
The owners, a 56-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman, have been charged with neglect of ten or more animals, which is a four-year felony offense under the animal cruelty statute in Michigan.
Sheriff Dan Bean says officials received a tip last week about the horses from a former employee at the farm.
"These horses have not been fed for quite some time," Bean said. "I think the people were realistically hoping for spring to come soon to have pastures to put the horses out."
Officials say some horses are considered to be in severe condition.
Sheriff Bean added that the couple acquired four new horses this past fall as well.
The couple will be arraigned on Monday. Police have not yet released the names of the suspects.
Those wishing to donate or lend a helping hand with things like grain and hay are encouraged to contact Horse North Rescue .