This was a difficult rescue; so many beautiful horses, with almost nothing to live for.
A man rented a very small piece of land from a gentleman who was in poor health. He then placed 23 horses there. He told the property owner this was a temporary situation, and they would be moved to a more appropriate pasture soon. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and the owner of the horses did not provide adequate care. After one of the horses collapsed from starvation and died, the neighbors could see that every horse was headed down that same path. They knew they must take action. They contacted the landlord, gave the horses food, reached out to C.A.R.E., and reported to the authorities. When authorities tried to contact the owner, he was no place to be found... leaving the horses abandoned.
As soon as local law enforcement gave us the go-ahead, we rushed to get them all safely to the C.A.R.E. Farm Sanctuary. As you can imagine, it was a bit tricky loading these 22 neglected horses onto multiple trailers, but they acted like they knew that something better was on the horizon.
Welcome to the C.A.R.E. Farm Sanctuary, where you will never go hungry again, you can all heal, and find loving homes.
As we unloaded, these guys and girls immediately started warming up to their new surroundings. This rescue contained some hidden surprises, as we have noticed a few pregnant mares. With foals on the way, these moms-to-be will need extra special care! They've all been evaluated, and our vet is coming back out in a few days to create a treatment plan for each horse. When the body goes through severe starvation, it's very dangerous to immediately introduce rich foods. For that reason, we are feeding a good grass hay and have a specialized plan to get every single horse lookin' and feelin' like a million bucks. This rescue wasn't planned for; we don't have funding set aside for hay, medicine, or vet visits. BUT, these horses needed our help and we couldn't just turn our backs on them. We know there are kind people that will help us, so that we can help them on this long road to recovery.
With that said, we would greatly appreciate your help with their rehabilitation. Over the next year, it will take tens of thousands of dollars to get these horses healthy. If you are able to make a contribution, no matter how small, we thank you so much. If you are unable, please share this story, so that someone may be reached who can.
Thank you very much for your support.
All 22 horses rescued from neglect and suffering extreme starvation are doing well this morning.
It has been a busy few days since unloading them at C.A.R.E.'s Farm Sanctuary. Emotions are running high as we care for the horses in most critical condition. After learning that 4 of the horses had gone down on the ground multiple times, unable to get back on their feet, neighbors were able to lift those horses with a fork truck to get them back up on their feet prior to our rescue. We are checking the horses every few hours, even at night, to make sure none of them go down on our watch.
We are thrilled to have already seen improvement in every horse in just a few days! They are devouring food, eating two 4x5 round bales of mix grass hay each day. This means we are feeding 1,600 pounds of hay everyday! They are eating machines and we love seeing them eat!
We are learning individual personalities as the horses become more trusting. Many of the horses have had little to no handling. We will begin gentling and halter training as soon as they are feeling better. Others will allow petting but seem leery and head shy. A few seem to be more social and should do very well moving into homes soon.
Our Veterinarian will be out later today to evaluate their progress. Most of the mares will need a pregnancy check. The colts/stallions have been separated from the mares and will need gelded as soon as they are strong enough for surgery. Over the next few months, our vet will stay busy. We suspect several may need dental work. Vaccinations and wormer will be given as soon as the horses are stronger. It is hard to take it slowly but for the horses sake, we must not overload their systems with too much too fast. Recovery is a long process but we will get them there.
The gray mare pictured is the one of four horses we have been most concerned about. She came to us with sores on her hips that tell us she spent a good deal of time laying on the ground. She was very lethargic and needed to stop and rest when just walking across the paddock. She spent the better part of her first day with us just standing alone, almost looking depressed. We were seriously afraid we were too late rescuing, worried she had already given up and decided to die. She doesn't want to be touched, which makes it difficult to comfort her. We just want to hug her and tell her it's all better now, but that will have to wait. We have named her Majesty, and good news is that she seems to be getting stronger. She has more stamina today and seems to be following the other horses more. She even played a little in her water tub this morning. We have a long way to go but it is encouraging to see improvement, no matter how small.
We would like to thank everyone who has shown support for this rescue! We appreciate your donations more than words can express! We still have a long road ahead of us, but with your help, we are moving forward in their recovery and toward our eventual goal of finding wonderful loving homes for each one of these special horses.
We still have immediate need for hay of any kind, senior pellet horse feeds, mineral blocks, horse vitamin tubs, stock tanks (any size), solar fence charger, white electric fencing tape, barbless fence wire, T posts, wooden corner posts, farm gates (any size), rubber garden hoses, and of course monetary donations for medical care and food.
Please keep sharing this rescue story. Working together, we are making life better for these horses and so many others! Watch for more updates after our vet visit later today.
Two weeks have passed since we rescued 22 neglected horses from horrendous conditions. These horses were not only starved to the point of collapse, but one horse had even died before we were able to get them out. During the rescue, the veterinary evaluation reported 18 of the 22 horses with a body condition that was the lowest score possible. The onsite vet even said that some of the horses were in the worst condition she has ever seen.
In the days following their rescue, many of the horses could not be touched and were almost panicked by human interaction. It's amazing to see the transformation when they realize we are not trying to hurt them! Now, a few brave souls are beginning to trust, with some even letting us touch and groom them. :) Others are becoming curious, but will take a bit more time.
We learn more about their individual personalities every single day. Majesty is usually the first to greet us in the mornings, anxious to see her morning visitors. We have spent a lot of time with her, due to her extreme critical condition at intake. She is walking better and has gained enough energy to be stubborn about leaving the feeding area after she finishes her senior pellets.
In just two short weeks, the same veterinarian who had never seen horses in such poor condition, is very impressed with their improvement. She makes weekly visits to conduct health exams and monitor their progress through recovery. The physical and mental condition of every horse is noticeably better, which can be directly attributed to your overwhelming support and contributions. Some of the horses were even strong enough for sedation on Wednesday, and our stallions became geldings.
Many of these horses will be ready for foster homes or adoption very soon. Our equine foster and adoption application is now available through the following link: Click HERE for the Equine Adoption/Foster Application.
Echo is a 21-year-old stocky black mare.
Apple Jack is a beautiful chestnut Quarter Horse gelding with white socks and blaze in surprisingly good condition.
Twilight is the big bay mare in the best condition of all the horses.
Bugsy (wearing a blue halter in the picture) is an 8-year-old chestnut colt that is now a gelding. He is a quick learner, always first to inspect new things and has a ton of potential!
Kit Kat is a petite-built mare, pretty brown color with a white blaze. She is only 13 years old, and such a cutie!
Babs is a 22-year-old chestnut mare that has been around the block a time or two. She is good on halter and gives to pressure. She will make a very nice horse for someone.
Genie is a sweet 22-year-old mare with a wild mustang brand on her neck. She is ready to leave the wild days behind her and settle down with a family to love her.
We are beyond grateful to those who donated, and to those who will continue to help us care for these horses. This rescue is a huge undertaking and would not be possible without you! Together, we are doing amazing things for animals in need. THANK YOU!
We will post more updates as the horses continue their recovery!
We have so much to be thankful for!
Three months after the initial rescue in August, these horses are running, gaining weight, and cuddling with their rescuers at the farm sanctuary. We continue to learn more about their personalities and individual needs, and are thrilled to have been able to rescue these horses from fatal conditions.
Most aged in the teens and twenties have unkind pasts. Some had no idea how to take a treat from your hand. Others were terrified of human touch. All are now learning that people can be kind, running to the gate with soft nickering to greet caretakers every morning. Our hearts melt as these gentle giants forgive their past and accept our good intentions, as they find their forever homes one-by-one.