Officials Find Horses Living in Dangerous, Dirty Southwest Philly Lot

SPCA officials are working to remove three horses that were found living in a dirty and dangerous lot in Southwest Philadelphia.

A viewer tipped NBC10 off about three horses that were being kept in a lot along the 5500 block of Grays Avenue.

NBC10 reached out to SPCA officials who discovered the horses living in a lot with a crumbling shed in the back and fecal matter on the ground.

“The back of the building is pretty well-blown out,” said George Bengal of the SPCA. “I think there are some L&I violations there. It looks like it’s ready to fall down.”

The owner of the horses, Derrick Hamm, told NBC10 he had bought the horses because he wants to start a riding school for children in his neighborhood.

“I enjoy it so I’m trying to give back to the community,” Hamm said. “Keep them off the street and give them something to do. Something positive.”

SPCA officials say the horses were malnourished when Hamm bought them but are actually in better shape now since they were placed in his care. The real problems however are the deplorable living conditions.

“No grass, no hay, no anything,” said Nikki Millard, a Southwest Philly resident. “When it rains they’re out in the rain.”

Hamm admits he’s gotten behind when it comes to caring for the horses and says he needs help. He also told NBC10 he understands why the SPCA believes the living conditions are unsuitable.

“I understand,” Hamm said. “I agree with them. But like I said, if somebody could help we can get it done tonight.”

SPCA officials are obtaining a search warrant and plan on moving the horses out.

“I’m so excited because the horses were being deprived,” said Queda Millard, another Southwest Philly resident. “There’s no shelter. The debris was falling down. Now they put all that junk in there. That’s horrible!”

Hamm is currently trying to find another place for the horses to go. SPCA officials say he’ll be able to keep the animals if he finds a suitable home for them that meets their standards.

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