You could see their ribs through an unshed winter coat. Their backs had dropped due to weight loss and poor muscle tone. Their teeth and hooves were uncared for making it difficult to move and eat what little food they had access to.
The BC SPCA is reaching out to animal lovers across the province to help with care costs for 42 neglected horses who were seized from an Irish Creek Road property near Vernon in March. Veterinary, boarding and other costs for the horses have now exceeded $70,000.
“The animals have been in a legal dispute up until this point, but they are now legally in our care and we would like to ensure their treatment is completed as soon as possible so that we can find them all loving homes,” says Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA. She notes that some of the horses have already been adopted, while others are still in SPCA custody.
“There have also been nine foals born from mares who were pregnant at the time of the seizure and we are doing pregnancy testing on five more this week, so there may be additional horses who require ongoing care,” says Moriarty.
In addition to suffering from malnutrition, many of the horses required veterinary treatment for serious dental and hoof problems. “It has been challenging to provide the necessary treatment for these horses because many of them are very timid and fearful of human handling,” says Moriarty. “They’ve had to be sedated during treatments, which adds significantly to the veterinary and farrier costs.”