Starving horses rescued from Needmore (PHOTO GALLERY)Published 9:38pm Thursday, April 3, 2014
Three starving and emaciated horses have been rescued from the Needmore area of Pike County and are being nursed back to health on farms in the Goshen area.
A couple of weeks ago, Dick and Marna Barnett were contacted by an investigator with the Alabama Rural Crime Unit and asked if they could go get the horses.
“We didn’t have anywhere to load them that night so we took them a bale of hay and picked them up the next morning,” Marna Barnett said. “The horses were terribly emaciated. They looked like skeletons with skin and hair.”
Barnett said the horses had been eating leaves, twigs and sticks in their attempts to stay alive.
“They had been eating like that for so long that they didn’t know what to do with the feed. Didn’t know what it was,” she said. “It took them a couple of days to know what to do with the feed.”
Susan Williford and Sherry Jenkins of Goshen offered to foster the horses until they could be nursed back to health and placed in good homes.
“The horses are still very thin but they are getting plenty of hay and they are grazing,” Barnett said. “They aren’t at an adoptable weight yet but they are so much improved from where they were. In the beginning, we didn’t know whether they would make it.”
Barnett expressed appreciation to those who have been so generous with hay and feed for the horses.
“Feeding horses is expensive and we’ve been very fortunate that people have wanted to help,” Barnett said. “The Pike Farmers Co-op and Tractor Supply are working with us to make it convenient to purchase feed for these rescue horses. Those who would like to purchase a bag of feed can just pay for the feed and we’ll go pick it up and take it out.”
Barnett said the senior horse feed provides the best nutrition for horses because of their emaciated condition.
The Barnetts are members of the Alabama Equine Rescue Society and have participated in the rescue efforts of horses in Alabama and Louisiana.
“We participated in the rescue efforts of several emaciate Arabians in Hope Hull,” Barnett said. “We went and picked up a couple of horses and transported them to a foster farm in Wetumpka.”
Barnett said the abandonment of horses happens more often than one would think.
“People get horses and then aren’t able to feed and care for them or just don’t,” she said. “The Alabama Equine Rescue Society is dedicated to the rescue of these horses. Volunteers are always needed to transport the rescued horses and foster them until they are nursed back to health and adopted. And, there is a great need for those who are willing to adopt a rescued horse.”
Barnett said anyone who has a heart for horses and would like to support the local efforts to rescue the abandoned and neglected animals is encouraged to call 334-372-1333.
“A bag of feed or a few dollars in support of the efforts is greatly needed and appreciated,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see the three recently rescued horses. Their heath has not been fully restored and won’t be for a while, but they are eating and playing and acting like horses again.”