CONROE, Texas (AP) — About 200 neglected horses seized from a Houston-area ranch will remain with an animal protection group and the owners must pay $485,000 in care costs.

A judge in Conroe declined to return the horses to Herman and Kathleen Hoffman. They appealed an initial court ruling that granted custody to the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The SPCA provided the estimated cost of caring for the horses, which were seized from the Hoffman property on June 24. Experts say many of the horses were starving or had neglect-related health issues.

An attorney for the Hoffmans, who face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges in the case, declined comment Thursday.