Abused Tennessee horses find refuge in state

BALDWYN – Five of the 84 neglected horses seized from a Cannon County, Tenn., farm last month will find refuge through a Northeast Mississippi-based rescue agency.
Have A Heart Horse Rescue claimed the horses last week and will rehabilitate them until they’re strong enough for adoption, said the nonprofit agency’s founder, Sheila Horton.
Tennessee state agricultural authorities discovered the horses, as well as dogs, mules and hens, on the property Nov. 20 while investigating a report about a dead horse. All the animals were removed from the site days later by law enforcement and the Humane Society of the United States.
They were transferred to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, where they were nurtured until rescue groups like Have A Heart could take them.
Of the five Horton took in, one was pregnant, all were emaciated, and many had symptoms of rain rot, a bacterial skin infection common in horses – especially those that don’t receive routine care. It causes scabs and sores.
“These horses were ones and twos on the body scale,” Horton said, “which is about as low as you can get.”
It’s unclear how long it will take to rehabilitate the animals, but Horton said it could be months.
“They have had a long, hard journey, but better days are certainly ahead for these horses,” Horton wrote on her Web site, which includes photographs of the horses. “No animal deserves to be starved, and we hope this case can bring to light the need for tougher animal cruelty laws in all states.”
The horses’ owner, Eugene Howland Jr., was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Howland has a Jan. 12 court date in Cannon County, and he is free on a $1,500 bond.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

Help Have A Heart Horse Rescue

To learn more about this nonprofit organization or to make a donation, visit www.haveahearthorserescue.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal