Just in the last 20 days, Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue near Huntington has taken in ten emaciated horses from West Virginia and surrounding states.
The small group is only able to help a limited number of horses at a time. And they are currently at capacity.
President Tinia Creamer says the reason why more horses are being starved is not straightforward. She says many factors are contributing to the problem, including an overpopulation of horses, horses being advertised and given away for free, and a high cost of feed. Hay has also become scarce in some areas.
Creamer says often times people get horses with good intentions without taking into account the financial burden.
"They have this livelong thought of wanting a horse and they don't have any understanding of how to care for them and no way to understand the economic drain that is going to be for them," Creamer said, regarding individuals who may not be horse savvy, but take on free horses they have seen advertised.
Just this week over a dozen horses were found dead from apparent malnourishment on property in Roane County. Twenty more emaciated horses were seized from the same location. Heart of Phoenix is not able to take any of those horses because they have so many other neglect cases coming their way.
The Roane County Sheriff's Department is currently caring for those horses. They are asking for donations of grass hay. They are unable to feed the horses alfalfa because of their condition. They have plenty of grain right now. Anyone wishing to make a donation to help the Roane County horses should contact the Roane County Animal Shelter or the Roane County Sheriff's Department to make arrangements. At this time the Roane County horses are not available for adoption. Deputies are asking people to stay away from the barn where they are being housed because they are in quarantine.
If you want to adopt a horse from Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue or learn more about how you can assist in their efforts to help starving horses in the area, just follow the link.