An East Texas sheriff's department recently called out a horse rescue shelter to an area where its workers found two horses on the brink of death living in unlivable conditions.
Safe Haven Equine Rescue received a call from the Gregg County Sheriff's Department last week about a mother and baby horse found in an unsafe environment. Both of these horses had fungus in their hair from rain rot, worms in their stomachs and toxins in their systems. Richard Fincher is the executive director of Safe Haven and said he is glad he was called out before things turned fatal.
"They had a severe toxin in them which was deadly," Fincher said. "If it wasn't treated, they would die."
Kerri Downs works for Safe Haven and agreed with Fincher they arrived just in time.
"They had toxemia," Downs said. "The scary answer is if we had not stepped in and called the sheriff's department, they would be gone today."
A horse's health is rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being as close to death as you can be. Both of these horses were categorized as a 1, according to a local veterinarian Safe Haven took the horses to. The veterinarian gave Safe Haven medicated shampoo and medicine as well to help clear the fungus and get them back to full health.
"They're on the road to recovery now," Fincher said. "The baby is gaining his strength. He's starting to run a little bit and move around a little bit. You can still see mama's ribs, her bones, her back. She's producing hardly any milk at all for the baby, so we're having to supplement him -- which is quite an ordeal with him."
In terms of feeding the horses, Fincher said they have to progressively and carefully increase the amount they are giving them since their stomachs are so small.
"You don't want to overfeed them," Fincher said. "It's just going to take a lot of time and money to get these horses back into shape."
Running a non-profit organization built on public donations, Fincher said he hopes to receive some financial support soon, to help build up these horses.
"My heart goes out to mamas and babies," Fincher said. "When there's a mama and baby involved, I push everyone and we jump over ourselves to help them out."
The people at this shelter are currently getting the horses nutrients, proteins and fats to get them back on their feet. The goal is to get them to the point where they are ready to be adopted.
If you want to learn more about the adoption process or how you can donate, you can visit safehavenequinerescue.com.