HEBRON – The Thayer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating reports of possible animal neglect and abuse at a Hebron feedlot and sale barn.
The property in question is owned by Glen Jochem, who owns the J and J Horse and Pony Company.
Hebron resident Julie Young, who lives near the feedlot at 1st Street and Lincoln Avenue, published over 120 photos and two videos on her Facebook page Thursday afternoon. Photos and videos that she believes to be evidence of Jochem’s mistreatment of livestock.
Young says all of the photos were taken on May 28, and the video was taken a day after.
In addition, News Channel Nebraska obtained a written statement from Young – a statement that she submitted to Thayer County authorities on Thursday.
Young says her son, Ricky, began working for Jochem this past March in exchange for horseback riding lessons.
“At the time we thought it was a good idea,” Young said. “After the first day, Ricky came home upset about the condition of the horses and (Jochem’s) level of care. I went down with him the following day and saw for myself. That’s when we first contacted the (Thayer County) Sheriff’s office, and we were told that we weren’t the first to call (about Jochem’s horses).”
Young claims that her and her son witnessed “dying calves, two deceased calves left out for dogs to eat instead of being fed, one horse with an abscess across it’s whole underbelly, three different horses with deep gashes several inches wide that needed immediate vet care, but when I brought it up, (Jochem) said he ‘already sprayed it with bleach and it’s all they needed.’”
Young also says one of the horses she photographed has a “cracked hoof to the point it’s missing a ‘v’ chip about an inch wide on its front right.”
She went on to say that all of Jochem’s horses on the Hebron property have “hooves that are well overgrown and when he trims them he cuts them very unevenly and does not measure depth or smoothen them out.”
As for feeding, Young says the horses are given “no alfalfa in any form, no minerals or salt, and water for many is not free access especially for the cows and the horses inside the barn. The horses being held in the metal pole pens are fed tiny rations of grain, no hay, and are led into the back area for water on ration every few days.”
Young claims horses inside Jochem’s barn have not been led out since her son began working for him in March.
“Many horses have tight head halters left on permanently, a few horses and one donkey have embedded halters, many are left with long ropes or leads dragging through the manure and getting drug into their large water tanks making the water filthy,” she said.
Young said in an interview Wednesday that her and her kids found five dogs on Jochem’s property after it had flooded. She claimed the dogs were tied up, and that her kids took four of the five dogs home, with Jochem’s permission, to be fed.
“Later that evening, (Jochem) came by and picked them up,” Young wrote, “and made it clear we are not welcome at the property any longer which is fine, we have all we need…”
Thayer County authorities said Wednesday that the situation is being treated as an “active investigation,” and an update will be provided at a later time.
In a Wednesday interview, Jochem denied all of Young’s accusations, contending that all of his horses on the Hebron lot are “fed and watered every day and are well maintained and cared for.”
Law enforcement has not seized any animals from Jochem.
This is a developing story. We will update it if more information is received.
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