Coalition insists rescued horses will not be slaughtered

CENTRALIA, Wash. -- A livestock group that saved two dozen horses from deplorable conditions is now desperately trying to save its reputation.

After {A href=""}KOMO's story of the rescue aired on Monday, a number of people used Facebook and email to voice concerns that the horses may be headed to slaughter.

Twenty-four horses were removed from a Centralia farm on Monday, and the owner is accused animal cruelty.

Horse lovers on Facebook cried out for action, and the Washington State Livestock Coalition volunteered to take the animals. Now, those same horse lovers are horrified by the thought that the animals could be headed to the slaughter house.

In online messages, people wondered what would happen to the horses now that they're in the hands of Sam Slusher. Slusher does buy horses to take to slaughter, but he said that's not what he's planning for the rescued horses.

"They think that just because I get a horse I automatically take them to kill," he said.

Slusher said he was just helping get the horses out of a bad situation.

The men and woman behind the livestock coalition wanted to set the record straight and gave KOMO exclusive access to the location where the horses are being cared for.

"They're all here," said the coalition's Dan Venable. "They're not in slaughter. They're not in Canada. Not in Mexico. They're all right here."

The coalition is using an auction website to help advertise the horses for adoption, with $200 to $400 fees to cover the costs.

The coalition also seized 50 goats that now up for adoption.