Union County Horses Recovering From Neglect, Starvation

Local News

Six horses have a long road to recovery from severe neglect, as authorities figure out which the charges for a Union County property owner. Deputies found more than 30 animals living in poor conditions at an abandoned home in rural Alcester, South Dakota.

Three horses were already dead by the time law enforcement checked out the property. Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue & Sanctuary took in six of them. 

“This is about as close to emaciated as you can get without dying,” veterinarian Nate Earl said. 

Monroe is a miniature horse recovering in Humboldt, South Dakota. She and the others are getting a second chance. 

“Knowing today they’re in a barn, they’re warm, they’re being fed what they need to be fed to recover and getting lots of love and attention is very heartwarming,” Tiffany Ring, Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue & Sanctuary Executive Director, said. 

Ring says the horses were locked in pens and abandoned. If you think they look rough now, Ring says it was worse a few days ago. 

“Extremely skinny; emaciated,” Ring said. 

Malnourishment is their biggest issue right now. Ring says volunteers are working on re-feeding them, but Earl says they have to do that slowly and carefully.

“If their intestinal track is empty and you try to put too much food back in, you can cause some pretty significant problems,” Earl said. 

Two other rescue groups also found more than 20 dogs along with cats and other animals on the property. Like the horses, authorities say nobody was caring for them.

“We try to do the best for them. It’s just so frustrating,” Earl said. 

These days are critical for Monroe and her companions, but Ring says things are looking good for full recoveries. For the first time in a long time, Ring says the horses have a chance for a good life. 

“Our hearts break for the one we did not get there in time for. For these guys, yes, a couple more days would’ve been too late,” Ring said.

To help the horses recover, you can donate to the Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue & Sanctuary by going to its website

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