Less than a week after ten horses were removed from a Cayuga County home amid allegations of animal cruelty, their recovery is well underway. But officials say nursing an animal back to health after neglect can be a difficult task. Our Candace Hopkins has more on one local farm's efforts to save three of the horses.
ALTON, N.Y. -- When animal rescuers were called to a home in Conquest last week by police, they found ten horses suffering from neglect.
"The barn itself leaned on a huge degree, the stalls were at least three feet deep in manure, the horses really couldn't move much, and really hadn't been out of their stalls, some of the stall doors were nailed shut," said Cheri Roloson, founder of Cracker Box Palace in Alton.
Rescuers were able to save nine of the ten horses, including three that were taken in by Cracker Box Palace in Wayne County, a farm specializing in nursing animals back to health.
"It was just a bad situation all the way around but we took the ones that we could," said Roloson.
Roloson said when the three horses, now named Ozzie, Lydia and Diane, were rescued each was suffering from a variety of health problems. But the most immediate concern was dealing with the condition of their feet.
"Their feet were horrendous, they had breathing problems, a lot of them were blind. Normally you have your horse's feet trimmed at least six to eight weeks, or as needed, these horses haven't seen a farrier in a very long time," said Roloson.
Officials said in many cases, owners simply don't know how to care for farm animals, or are lacking the means to do so.
"They get so many, or they get in over their heads, or they don't know what to do with the animals when they get them, like I said the horses need to have a farrier, they need to have a vet on a regular basis, they have certain nutritional demands like just any other animals," said Roloson.
But the good news here is after only a few days of T.L.C and close monitoring by a vet, all three horses are expected to make full recoveries. They should be ready for adoption in just a few short months.
Cracker Box Palace is a non-profit organization that runs off of donations, grants, and volunteers. You can visit their website, www.crackerboxpalace.org, for more information.
Four people are facing animal cruelty and child endangerment charges in connection with this case. In addition to the horses, a six-month-old child was also removed from the home.