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MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. — Two people have been arrested after two miniature horses were found dead and five horses were found severely malnourished.

On Thursday, McHenry County Animal Control officers were conducting verification of vaccine records at a Marengo dog breeding operation when they discovered emaciated horses on the property.

Officers contacted the Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society (HARPS) in Barrington Hills.

Upon arrival Friday, HARPS investigators discovered two dead miniature horses that appeared to be starved. Five additional horses were found, severely malnourished but alive.

They have been taken to the HARPS facility for treatment.

The owner of the horses, an Elgin resident, and the caretaker, a Marengo resident, were arrested.

The five malnourished horses are expected to recover.

HARPS will continue to closely monitor the remaining horses owned by other renters, which were not malnourished,at the Marengo property.

Anyone interested in donating to the care of the rescued animals, or in the adoption of one of the horses, can contact HARPS at (847) 382-0503, or visit the HARPS website at