Being a horse person, I am still astounded by this case. It shocks me that horses can walk, much less stand, with 3-foot hooves. Even more astounding, is that the owners thought it was okay to leave them like this. They were also standing in four feet of manure.
If you haven’t heard the story, The Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC), Maryland, was made aware of a cruelty situation involving 40 pigeons at the home of Robert Lloyd Baugher and Christine Wilson Baugher through an anonymous call on August 19, 2015.
According to the HSWC’s release:
Field Services Officer Elliot responded to the call and asked to see all animals on the property. Upon her inspection, Officer Elliot found 3 horses that appeared to be in fair condition, but had an insufficient amount of water. However, three other horses were found with severe hoof growth that hindered the horses’ mobility. They were also emaciated.
‘In over 25 years of working in the field on animal welfare I have never before seen horses suffer such cruelty,’ said Kimberley Intino, President/CEO of the Humane Society of Washington County. ‘We are grateful to Days End Farm Horse Rescue for their role in caring for these horses.’ ”
Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) evaluated all the horses the next day in partnership with HSWC. One of the horses had “severe ligament damage” and was euthanized there.
“On August 25th, the other three equines were surrendered by the owners and removed from the Baugher property and placed in HSWC foster care. All of the horses required veterinary and farrier attention, including dental care which had not been given to them for 12-15 years. These expenses will be paid by the HSWC, along with feeding and boarding costs until the horses are adopted to other families," the release stated.
On August 27, The HSWC officially filed 15 charges of animal cruelty against the Baughers.
Meanwhile the two horses with 3-foot hooves are being taken care of by DEFHR, who told iHeartHorses.com there prognosis remains “guarded”:
“Their ligaments, muscles and bone structure in their legs have been compromised for upwards of 10 years. All the corrective rehabilitative care we are providing from here on out is strategic, calculated, and very slow. All of it also has to be done in tandem with our veterinarian and farrier.”
“We certainly were shocked to see that they were still alive much less able to stand a move around – as they were moving around their enclosures (which had more than 4 feet of manure) it sounded like deer antlers clanking together,” Caroline Robertson of DEFHR told iHeartHorses.com “It’s truly the worst hoof neglect we have ever seen in our 26 year history. Our vet and farrier were also onsite and had the same reaction.”
They had to trim their feet some, just to transport them. Once at the rescue, they were allowed to relax and get used to their new environment. The stallions, one a standard and one a mini, received their first corrective trim on Monday. It took 3 hours to do each horse.
Here, Quest and Rio are getting their first taste of being able to walk on hooves that are much more “normal” for a horse. Can you tell they are happy??
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Quest and Rio had their 1st corrective trim earlier this week here is a little peak at how their...
Posted by Days End Farm Horse Rescue on Thursday, August 27, 2015
The boys are incredibly curious, sweet and try very hard Roberston said. When they are stabilized and have put on more weight, both will be castrated.
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As for adoptions, the hope is that Quest and Rio will be able to find permanent homes…eventually. “Once both are through their rehabilitation are healthy and gelded yes they will go up for adoption. But that likely won’t happen for at least a year as that is the anticipated time it will take to rehabilitate them,” Robertson said.
Follow DEFHR on Facebook to keep on their progress, as well as what happens to their owners, who go to court October 28, 2015. You can help by donating to the rescue.
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