It was a steamy July day when our investigator from Bureau County made her way out to her latest complaint - - horses with no water - - in Sheffield, IL. She was appalled at what she found. Not only was there no water, there was no feed or hay on site. Horses were skinny and tangled up in wire fencing. Their hooves were long and split. Two of the horses had body scores of 1 - the lowest on the Body Condition Scale.
Freckles was in bad shape upon his arrival
After thoroughly inspecting the property, our investigator documented 18 hooved animals on the property. In addition to three horses, there were four ponies, four donkeys, six goats, and one gaunt looking pot-bellied pig. A large number of emaciated dogs were also wandering about.
Autumn had several deep wounds on her legs
Following procedures, a Notice of Violation was ultimately issued, giving the owner 48 hours to separate the two emaciated horses from the group (everyone was penned together), call a vet out to determine a refeeding schedule and attend to the thinnest animals, and to schedule a long overdue visit from a farrier. The wire the horses were tangled up in had to be removed and the water trough needed to be filled with water. The Bureau County Sheriff was also there and gave the owner a ticket from the county in addition to our Notice.
48 hours later we were back on scene, and disappointedly, no reasonable effort had been made. In conjunction with Bureau County Sheriff's Office - who couldn't have been more helpful - we were able to get the owner to agree to relinquish to HAHS three of the horses, including the two horses with body scores of 1. Sadly, before transport could arrive, one of the horses, a white mare in her early 30's, went down and eventually passed away. Various stories emerged about what happened, including being tangled in wire and attacked by starving dogs.
The case for the remaining animals is still pending in court. In the meantime our investigator and the Sheriff's Office continue to make weekly visits to check on the welfare of the remaining animals. So far things seem to be looking up for all of the animals, and care is improving, but we will continue to monitor the situation to make sure that their care doesn't plummet again.
Autumn is a beautiful mare
Since their relinquishment, Freckles and Autumn have been enjoying recovery here at HAHS. Freckles, came to us so thin, and had all of us wondering whether or not he would pull through, but he decided rather early that he would not be giving up, just like the true Appaloosa that he is. He was also full of worms, sunburned, suffered from uvetis in his eyes and cuts and fungus on his skin. He made great strides during his recovery and is enjoying life in his foster home! Autumn came to us at a decent weight, but had some injuries that were in need of treatment for proper healing. She is on the mend and is doing great. Although still a little nervous around people, she is becoming much friendlier and trusting!
Freckles recovered wonderfully