PARK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Mark Walker, the man who owned dozens of malnourished horses near Hartsel, now faces eight charges of animal cruelty. The Park County Sheriff’s Office initially removed 48 horses from the property last month, then returned and took five more from Walker.

Nine more were rescued last week.

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(CBS)

Officials say they feared many of the horses would have died before summer if it weren’t for law enforcement contacting the owner. They expect to invest more than $40,000 to heal the emaciated horses.

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Those animals are at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown. In the weeks they’ve been there, Most have gained a substantial amount of weight. There are seven pregnant mares among the horses and the staff is optimistic those foals have a chance to be born healthy.

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None of the animals have died nor had to be euthanized.