Abused horses get a second chance at life inside a Fairfield County barn.
“We got Cracker Jack hours before he was going to be picked up by a kill buyer,” says Teresa Landon of the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
‘They can tell they've been rescued - they know,” says Lisa Beatty whose barn is one of several in central Ohio that is use to foster the horses until they are adopted.
Rescuers say the horses “would probably be dead” without these places. Caring for them has pushed the Ohio SPCA deep into the red.
“We're looking at a $20,000 bill to feed them through the winter. We've only raised $1,400", says Landon
The barn is a far cry from how these horses used to live. Landon calls the conditions heartbreaking.
“They're broken animals when they come, in spirit and in body, and our job is to put them together", says Landon.
Donated food and loving care help the horses recover.
“We will support these horses until they are adopted,” says Landon.
Of the 55 horses rescued this year, the Ohio SPCA says 43 of them were neglected. Horses so malnourished you can see their ribs, others with skin conditions, and one who was so neglected his hoofs actually curled.
“Those hoofs had grown for several years", says Landon.
Landon believes her group is getting more calls about horse abuse because more people are aware of the problem.
She says many of the neglect cases involve horse owners who ran out of money and are too scared to call for help. Regardless, she says it's no excuse for allowing the animals to waste away with no one to care for them.
“We're pushing for zero tolerance, because if you don't have tolerance of animal cruelty, you're not going to stop it,” added Landon.
The Ohio SPCA needs feed and donations to help pay for vet bills.
If you would like to donate or adopt one of their horses you can learn more at www.ohiospca.org.