Erie County Horse Rescue

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On March 25, 2010, a team of five Red Star Animal Emergency Services responders began assisting in the care of 73 horses rescued from deplorable conditions at an Erie County, N.Y., property on March 18. Animal cruelty charges are pending against the owner.

The SPCA Serving Erie County is the lead organization in the rescue. All horses rescued are in the custody of the organization, at an undisclosed location. Four dogs and 53 cats, also rescued from the property, are at the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Tonawanda, N.Y., shelter.

Reports say it appeared that the horses had rarely -- if ever -- been let out of their stalls. Feces covered the stall floors and walls, the food and water dishes, and even some of the animals themselves. It was difficult for the horses to stand in such conditions. Many were also allegedly underweight by hundreds of pounds.

The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) asked American Humane to assist by providing horse handling teams to help in the day-to-day care of the horses for the next two to three weeks.

UPDATE: As of June 14, all of the horses rescued from the property are in foster care awaiting the outcome of the case. The owner of the horses was formally charged with 10 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty on May 17, and a civil case is also pending against the owner.

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