New Effort To Stop Animal Abuse In Ohio Begins Friday


UPDATED: Friday March 7, 2014 12:16 AM

They are animals suffering from severe neglect:  horses sick and starving, some near death.

The Ohio SPCA says it has been swamped with cases like these.

A new partnership aims to stop such animal cruelty in Ohio.

In January, 10TV brought you the story of Payton, a horse that was found near death.

He had been rescued from a Ross County family the Ohio SPCA says had no business owning a horse.

Today Payton is under the care of a foster family and a young 4-H group.

"He's so sweet and he trusts everybody even though he was being abused and hurt," said 10-year-old Karli Ramey.

Unfortunately, Payton's case is not unusual.

"It breaks our hearts," said Ohio SPCA Director Teresa Landon. "The thing is, we see it all too often. We see it every week."

Recent rescues include Lizzie, Precious, and Milly and Molly, horses found in various stages of sickness and neglect.

"They're just dying from lack of food," said Landon. "It's starvation."

Dr. Chris Beinlich with Woodland Run Equine Veterinary Facility says the horses' owners may not be malicious, but when this is the end result, intent doesn't matter.

"They may have good intentions, but they're not, they're not caring for them appropriately."

Landon says it's a major problem in Ohio's rural counties, where resources are limited.

"Counties that don't have a Humane Society and therefore the Sheriff's Department is struggling to cover those calls, and that's where we've been stepping in."

But that's about to change.

Starting Friday, the Ohio SPCA will have extra boots on the ground in the effort to investigate and fight animal cruelty.

"We have been working with Ross County since 2007," said Landon. "And they have been without a humane agent. And so we have trained and are providing them with three humane officers that will be sworn in tomorrow."

It's the launch of the Ohio Humane Outreach Partnering Program, or Ohio HOPP.

Pulling together scarce resources for a unified goal: "To end animal cruelty in Ohio."

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