Neglected horses rescued in Boggs
BOGGS — More than half-a-dozen neglected and emaciated horses were removed from their owner along Hauser Road on Friday by police and county Farm Bureau agents.
Pam Vivirito, of Equine Angels Rescue, said six miniature horses and two yearling horses have been rescued and are receiving food, shelter and veterinary care at the rescue facility in Cabot, Butler County.
State police in East Franklin reported that the owner, whom they did not identify by name, is a 53-year-old man and is being investigated on possible animal cruelty charges.
Vivirito said she went to the property earlier last week after a tip on the suspected animal cruelty was referred to her through the Humane Society.
She said she called state police for assistance when she got to the field where the horses were kept without shelter or adequate food and found the miniature horses running loose.
Because they were able to get through the fence, the miniatures had been able to forage for food and were in somewhat better condition than the yearlings, she said.
She said the yearlings were in a separate pen like a dog cage enclosure, open to the elements.
“They were standing out there starving,” she said.
The animals have sores on their necks from trying to stretch for food and their coats are in awful condition, she said.
“It's just pathetic,” she said.
The yearlings both have fevers and are being treated for pneumonia, parasites and anemia, she said.
“It will take six months to a year to get their weight back,” she said, adding that she is hopeful they will make a full recovery.
According to Vivirito, other livestock, including cows and six or seven pigs, also were suspected of being neglected at the Hauser Road location. She said she spoke with state police and told them a place had been located where the pigs could be cared for.
Vivirito said she has taken in at least 15 severely malnourished horses in the last few weeks in separate and unrelated cases.
And although there has been a hay shortage in the region because of last year's poor hay yield, she said, it's obvious the horses that have come into her care have all been neglected for a long time.
“How do these people sleep at night?” she said.
More information about Equine Angels Rescue can be found at www.equineangelsrescue.com. The organization accepts monetary donations and items like hay and blankets for the care of rescue horses.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.