An East Texas equine rescue group seizes nearly a dozen horses in Camp County, suffering from neglect and starvation. They were barely able to stand on wobbly legs, every one emaciated and hundreds of pounds underweight.
"It's sad. It's sad to see that there's no trust in their eyes. They're scared to death," said Safe Haven Equine rescue worker Debbie Fincher. "Your heart drops. You get that sickening feeling in your stomach. It just makes you sick," said Safe Haven director Richard Fincher.
The ten horses were taken to a rehabilitation ranch in Gregg County by Safe Haven rescue workers. The animals were seized from a Camp County ranch, where officials say they had no medical attention, food or water.
"It's a shame that we have to keep doing this, keep going out keep finding them. People, they inform us daily and this is a daily occurrence now," Richard said.
For Safe Haven workers this is a classic case of animal abuse and neglect, the horses have their ribs showing and their spines showing. One horse suffered terrible injuries that will force it to be destroyed. But, ironically, Safe Haven workers must keep it alive as evidence against the owner, before it can be put down.
"We have to keep him alive until we go back to court in ten days," Richard said.
They're so neglected that they're leery of human contact. But there is a bright side. "It just becomes such a joy to see the trust and the happiness back in their eyes when they realize food's going to be there every day," Debbie said.
The owner was arrested at his Camp County job site and charged with cruelty to animals. Safe Haven is asking the public's help in donations to help nurse the horses back to health.