Horse rescue groups, victims of economy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Horse rescue groups, victims of economy

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

GILMER, TX (KLTV) - Every day in East Texas, there are more and more reports of starving or neglected horses. Trainers and rescue groups say they are victims of the recession since the cost to feed and take care of them has tripled in price.

"They were going to put him down," said Richard Fincher, who runs Safe Haven Equine Rescue near Gilmer. "He was a stray."

The horses were skin and bones when he took them in.

"They've been starved, neglected [and] they've had no protein," said Fincher.

It is a heartbreaking reality, and everyday we find new reports of horse neglect.

"People are turning them out on the roadside," said Fincher. "We get calls of abandoned horses all the time...I've had three phone calls today."

There are so many of these abandoned animals, counties are struggling to find space. On his own time, Fincher sets up adoptions since he can't take any more himself.

"We're at capacity and funds are real tight," he explained.

Part of the problem, he says, is that healthy hay is in short supply.

"Just square hay. I got four bales left. I can't find any...Not for a reasonable price. $8 - $9 [is] just too much," he said. "We were down to our last $20 while ago and two or three donations in to spend $137 for feed for next week."

It is a catch 22 in the horse market right now. Fincher says breeders are hardly turning a profit. You can easily find horses for sale under $100.

"When horse trainers don't make money it is bad, real bad," said Fincher.

The horses Fincher has nursed back to health are the lucky ones.

"They're real spoiled but some of these horses have been through so much they deserve it."

But, there are many more, in need of good homes.

If you'd like to adopt a horse or make a donation, Safe Haven says it would be greatly appreciated. Click here to go to their website.

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