On May 11, 2023, the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACT) conducted a rescue of four starving horses from the rural property of a neglectful owner in Fair Grove, Mo. The rescued horses are all mares in similar condition, all severely emaciated with overgrown hooves and external parasites. This rescue was conducted in conjunction with the Greene County Sherriff’s Office, which served a warrant to the property’s owner and placed the horses in HSMO’s care and keeping. Overnight, the horses were brought to HSMO’s Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Mo. to begin rehabilitation.
When rescuers arrived on the property, it was obvious these horses were severely malnourished to the point that it had become life-threatening. All four horses were infested with fleas and lice, and had extremely low body condition scores, thin enough that ribs, spine, and hip bones were all visible beneath their skin. The owner confirmed none of the animals had seen a veterinarian or farrier in years.
“The road to recovery for these poor animals is likely long and difficult, but our compassionate staff, veterinarians and volunteers are committed to providing the care necessary to ensure these animals can live out the rest of their lives in safety and comfort,” said HSMO President Kathy Warnick. “The Humane Society’s Longmeadow Rescue Ranch serves as Missouri’s largest resource for horse and farm animal rescue and rehabilitation.”
This afternoon, the horses will be examined by a veterinarian and assessments will take place to determine individual treatment plans. After that, a farrier will be consulted for much-needed hoof trimming to improve their mobility. A deposition is currently scheduled for May 31 to determine if HSMO will gain formal custody of the horses. If HSMO gains custody, and the horses have been successfully rehabilitated, Longmeadow expects to make them available for adoption. However, due to the severity of their condition, the timeline for this is currently unknown.
To help support the care of these animals, please visit hsmo.org/greenecounty.
To report an animal who may be in danger or is suffering from neglect or abuse, call the local police and the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.