A necessary rescue effort

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 17, 2017

Monday morning as I came into work I noticed a message on our Facebook page about a deceased horse that had been left out all weekend, untended and unburied. While that was tragic enough, what was more horrifying was the story behind the incident.

Often, stories can be blown out of proportion on social media, but that was not the case in this instance.

Personal experience with our county animal control department has more than proved to me that they are willing to remove an animal from a situation where it is suffering.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Initial investigation Monday determined there were a few horses living in subpar, but survivable conditions at the farm.

To be honest, my concern for the animals was lessened at that point.  But late Wednesday afternoon, when I got the call that 18 horses were being taken off the farm and transported to a safer location, I knew the situation was more dire than what was originally reported.

As I arrived to the county fairgrounds, one of the last horses was getting off the trailer, while its sisters and brothers filled most of the other usually empty pens.

Even I, someone who has spent little time around the animal, could tell the young horse was frightened and unsure of its new surroundings.

Walking down the center isle, each animal was bone-thin, looking as though it hadn’t eaten a good meal in weeks or months.

Toward the back, the young horses were covered in what I first though was mud, but indeed was discoloration from chronic diarrhea. In the center, four females looked like their stomachs were about to burst with the weight of foals in utero, yet they still had bones visibly protruding from their bodies.

No animal should ever be put into such a condition. While 18 of these horses were rescued, 16 remain on the farm, reportedly in better health than the ones I witnessed.

If these animals prove to be in such poor shape, it is my hope that the owner is found responsible and not permitted handle any living creature ever again. Because of these incidents, I’m thankful we have officers like Mr. Slade who work hard to protect our animals.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

email author More by Julia