An East Texas horse haven has saved more than a dozen horses from certain starvation and death in Upshur County. The rescue group expects that it'll have to rescue many more during the intense heat of the summer.
"It just makes you sick to see horses treated this way," said Safe Haven Equine Rescue director Richard Fincher.
All of the horses were emaciated and weak and were rescued from starving conditions from Upshur County horse owners over the last three days.
"In the last three days we've picked up over 20 of them, with backbones showing ribs. They're in bad shape," Fincher says.
Fincher just took over as director of Safe Haven, leaving behind his furniture making business and putting his own life savings into saving horses. The drought as much as neglect has taken its toll on horses.
"There's no hay. Some people are having hard times some that neglect their horses is what they're doing," he says.
Several of the mares are pregnant, and Fincher needs to feed the animals three times a day for a month. For Safe Haven workers it's reached a critical point. They very much want to take care of, rehabilitate the horses but they lack the resources to do it.
"We need donations to help us out with feed. Hay is hard to find for us. We're having to go out of state," says Fincher.
Fincher is trying to build a permanent barn facility to care for more horses in the future. None of the horse owners were charged, as they voluntarily surrendered their horses to Safe Haven.
If you'd like to help, call (903)762-1432.