Horse neglect on the rise; rescue adoption efforts underway

Published 7:06 pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Home on the range is not what it used to be.

There are fewer places for the “buffalo” to roam and, if Mother Nature withholds the showers of blessings, times can be difficult on the “range.”

And, when that happens, animals suffer and horses top the list.

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The reporting of neglected and abused horses is no longer uncommon. In fact, it’s too common, said Jack Rainey, president of the Humane Society of Pike County.

“Back when there was an explosion of interest in horses, people put horses in their backyards and everywhere else there was a patch of grass,” Rainey said. “Probably, a lot of people got in the horse business without realizing what it takes to feed them. Then, with the economic and drought conditions of the last few years, some of these people apparently couldn’t buy feed for their horses and there was no grass in the pastures, so the horses were neglected.”

The Alabama Equine Rescue Society, the Alabama Rural Crimes Unit and various other groups and individuals have rescued horses all across the state. Once these animals have gained weight and regained their strength, they are ready for adoption.

Two horses that were rescued March 6 in the Needmore community are now available for adoption. A third horse is gaining weight and should be available for adoption in the next few weeks.

Anyone who is interested in adopting one of these horses is encouraged to call 334-372-1333.

Four horses, including two stallions, were picked up about two weeks ago and are being cared for at the large animal rescue site near Brundidge.

Marna Barnette, who has been involved in several large animal rescues, said the horses at the rescue site were not neglected but could no longer be cared for by the owner.

“The horses kept getting out and were on the highway,” she said. “The owner couldn’t keep them fenced in. The horses were not emaciated.”

Rainey said the four horses are a little thin but, once they are evaluated and the adoption papers are prepared, they will be available for adoption. Those who would like to make a donation to assist with the feeding and care of rescued horses at the rescue site in Brundidge may send a check, earmarked for large animal assistance, to Humane Society of Pike County, P.O. Box 296, Troy, AL 36081.

For more information, call 334-372-5922.