Volunteers explain about horrendous horse neglect
According to volunteers at Last Chance Ranch, the remainders of countless dead horses and animals were found in a ditch filled with bones. Others were in undescribable conditions.
Judy McHale, one of the volunteers at the local County Animal Rescue Team was working at the scene to help transport the surviving animals, in what rescue groups are describing one of the worst cases of neglect they have ever seen. "Dead and dying animals were everywhere," she said.
"This is the worst I've seen," Lori McCutcheon, the president of Last Chance Ranch explained. "For people to walk away and not take care of any animals is unfathomable."
The location of the farm and the names of those being held accountable cannot be released until police have progressed with the investigation.
With the snowstorm closing in, conditions were severely compromising, meaning rescuers had to work tirelessly in order to move the suffering, live animals quickly to prevent further fatalities.
"How can you just let them wither away and die?" Lori added.
Initially, rescuers had planned to move the animals to a base in Maryland, however the severity of the animals conditions and the dangerous weather conditions meant that this was not an option.
Instead, Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue in Quakertown was called up to help and five of the most critical horses were taken to Quakertown Veterinary Clinic. Devastatingly there was no other choice than to euthanize three of the five horse. According to McCutchen, "They were just too far gone."
Clarissa, a chestnut thoroughbred was so undernourished that when the team tried to load her into a trailer she just fell to the ground. Despite all efforts to get her into the vehicle, rescuers were forced to leave her in a smaller shelter to weather the snowstorm.
Neighbours said they had complained to the police previously regarding the poor treatment, however the remote location made it difficult for enough evidence of the mistreatment to actually seize the animals.
According to Ms McCutcheon, the stronger animals had survived by eating bark, trees and even their own compost.
The rescue teams returned to save the remaining animals once it was safe to do so, and transported them to Last Chance Ranch. Four of the healthiest horses escaped capture are still on the grounds.
At present, Last Chance Ranch is caring for six horses, eighteen sheep, two goats, five dogs, a calf, and a pig.
The average cost a day to maintain the ranch and its rescued animals totals around $500 for required food and care. The team calculated that it will cost roughly $20,000 to restore the animals back to full health.
Fortunately, Clarissa survived through the storm but her health had deteriorated drastically. Eventually, rescuers managed to lead her on to the trailer, however on arrival at the ranch she collapsed and staff had no option but to carry her to a barn. The Richlandtown and Haycock Fire Department had to hoist her to her feet using a sling and machine.
Amazingly, Clarissa is showing signs of a hopeful and healthy future. On Saturday, the underweight horse demonstrated her fighting nature when taken on a small walk outside the barn by giving the staff a tough time on her lead. According to Ms McHale, her progress has been incredible and the HorseClicks team wish all the surviving animals a fast recovery.