16 Horses Among Animals Rescued From ‘Abandoned’ Ohio Barn

by Craig Garrett
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On Wednesday, 16 horses were rescued from neglect by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office and The Humane Society of the United States. At 9 a.m. local authorities served a search and seizure warrant, reports Cleaveland’s Fox 8. Along with the equines, six goats and several cats and dogs were also rescued.

The Humane Society stated that they found horses living in horrendous conditions. Some stalls were crammed with an excess of manure. The goats and horses reportedly had to stand atop the waste. Veterinarians said that the horses and goats needed desperate care for their overgrown hooves which were damaged.

Officials confirmed that they found a female horse with a ruptured eye trapped among the other neglected animals. In addition, several people were needed to pry open a stall containing a goat. The animal had overgrown hooves and horns curling into its own head due to waste accumulation.

The Humane Society was grateful for assistance from the Sheriff’s Office

Mark Finneran, Ohio director for the Humane Society of the United States weighed in on the scene. “It’s like walking into an abandoned, forgotten barn, but there are beautiful living beings trapped here. You can only imagine how long these animals have been suffering in these conditions,” recalled Finneran. “We are grateful to the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office and everyone involved in intervening.”

Ashland County Sheriff Wayne Risner said the department is grateful to the Humane Society for their help. “We take great pride in taking care of the animals in our community. The assistance of the HSUS allowed us to intervene without causing a burden on our community’s resources,” Chief Risner explained.

The Humane Society of Ashland County, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, and Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary all assisted with the rescue. The animals are now being taken care of in a safe location where they will get the attention and resources they need.

The welfare of horses is a relatively new concern

Equine welfare pertains to the standard of living and treatment for domesticated horses. It contrasts with suffering that may result from voluntary or involuntary actions of others, like physical abuse, mutilation, neglect, etc. Discussions about the welfare and abuse of horses are relatively new.

Nineteenth-century England saw the birth of animal welfare when the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established and Black Beauty was published. This soon spread to France, where the French League for the Protection of the Horse set up shop and the Grammont Law was passed in 1850. Eventually, similar attitudes developed in America.

Various organizations have continuously protested against the abuse of horses in both horse racing and rodeo throughout the years, leading to public outcry and eventually the passage of the Horse Protection Act in 1970. However, early into the 21st century, it became apparent that these issues had not been solved, as new controversies arose regarding training methods such as Rollkur, problems with endurance riding, stable confinement, and carriage horses in urban areas.

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