Two-Dozen Miniature Donkeys Found Starved On Texas Ranch

LEONARD (January 11, 2010)—Officials say at least 23 miniature donkeys two horses found dead at a North Texas ranch starved.

Fannin County sheriff's deputies and a team from Habitat for Horses surveyed the scene Sunday near Leonard, which is about 55 miles northeast of Dallas.

Habitat spokeswoman Deanne Murillo said eight miniature donkeys and seven horses were found alive and were removed for rehabilitation.

She said the other animals starved and said the cold weather contributed to their deaths.

Property owner Lee Epperson told KXII-TV in Sherman he is unemployed and is not really a country person.

"I apologize for my stupidity,” he said.

Epperson said he didn't have the money to pay for proper care of the animals.

Lt. Daryl Parker says Epperson is expected to face animal cruelty charges.

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