VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Ron and Tammy Barnett founded the Horse Shoe Equine Rescue more than six years ago, and ever since they have dedicated their lives to helping abused and neglected animals, but never had they seen a case quite like their most recent.
“It just hits you in the pit of the stomach. You’re like, o my God, how can somebody have let them go that long,” said Ron.
On Sunday the rescue was called to a home in Vigo County. Animal Control asked for their help removing four miniature horses.
“They were in a really small area, and they were standing in what started out as about 20-inches of manure and went up to about 30-inches of manure,” said Ron, who believes the horses suffered years of apparent neglect.
“Their tendons are all stretched in different directions now, and they’re going to have to re-learn to walk. It’s going to take a while before they can actually get back to the point where they can walk straight again or even run again,” said Ron.
What stood out the most was the horses’ hooves. “What we’re seeing here is an extreme case. We’re not talking six-months of neglect we’re talking years of neglect,” said Susan Ogier, a Farrier who traveled from North of Indianapolis to tend to the horses.
Ogier spent several hours on Monday working to remove the growth from the horses’ hooves. “It’s not going to be as functional as it needs to be, but they are going to be so much more comfortable than they are right now.”
The rescue is remaining optimistic they will not have to euthanize the horses. “We will let the veterinarian decide but we’re not even going to think about that right now,” said Ron.
For now, Faith, Hope, and Bella have new names and a new home. “Moving forward it’s going to be a long road, but I think we’re going to get them all back to health,” said Ron.
The Barnett’s are urging animal owners to reach out if they feel overwhelmed.
If you would like to donate or volunteer you can contact the rescue at (812) 841-6916.