Starving horses on a farm along Jim Cummings Highway were fed by the Humane Society Tuesday prior to being taken to Nashville for care. (Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States.)
The Humane Society of the United States and the Cannon County Sheriff's Department joined forces to rescue 84 horses from a Cannon County property. The horses were seized by the Cannon County Sheriff's Department due to signs of neglect and poor health. Rescuers also removed eight dogs, two goats and two chickens from the property. The animals were all in poor condition.
"This rescue came not a moment too soon for the animals, including 84 horses struggling to survive," said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at The HSUS. "There's no excuse for starving or neglecting an animal. It is the responsibility of every horse owner to provide humane, responsible care for their horses at all stages of their life."
When rescuers arrived on the 100-acre Bradyville property they found many Tennessee Walking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses, as well as quarter horses. Many of the horses were extremely emaciated and suffering from a variety of medical ailments including overgrown, infected hooves and parasite infestation. Rescuers also found several dead horses on the scene.
Local law enforcement was alerted to this critical situation by citizens concerned for the health of the horses. The sheriff's department called in The HSUS to act as the lead animal welfare organization in the case. The HSUS then called in United Animal Nations to provide sheltering support and Volunteer Equine Advocates to assist in animal handling and transport. Invaluable assistance was also provided by officials from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, who provided a stable to be used as an emergency shelter.
Rescuers are removing all of the horses from the property and transporting them to a temporary shelter. Once the horses reach the shelter they will be checked by a team of veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical care. The horses will be cared for at the shelter until their custody is determined.
Horse owners who can no longer care for their horses have many humane options available to them:
* Sell the horse to a properly vetted, private owner
* Lease the horse to another horse enthusiast
* Donate the horse to a therapeutic riding center, park police unit or similar program
* Relinquish the horse to a horse rescue or sanctuary
* Consider humane euthanasia