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December 15, 2010

The HSUS Assists in Rescue of 43 Texas Horses

See a slideshow of selected images from this rescue.

LINDALE, Texas — The Humane Society of the United States, SPCA of East Texas and Humane Society of North Texas worked with the Smith County District Attorney’s Office to rescue 43 horses from a Lindale property. An investigator with the Smith County District Attorney’s office served a seizure warrant to the owner of the horses Tuesday evening, allowing the rescuers to remove the horses Wednesday. Many of the horses on site were severely emaciated and showed signs of neglect.

"These horses may have been struggling to survive for quite some time, but now thanks to everyone involved in this rescue they will receive the care they so desperately need," said Nicole Paquette, Texas senior state director for The HSUS. "It is the responsibility of every horse owner to provide humane, responsible care for their horses at all stages of their lives."

When rescuers arrived on the 70-acre Smith County property, they found mostly quarter horse-types. The group also included several yearlings and pregnant mares. Many of the horses were extremely emaciated and suffering from a variety of medical ailments including overgrown hooves and parasite infestation. Rescuers also found several dead horses and numerous equine skeletons on the scene.

Local law enforcement was alerted to this critical situation by the SPCA of East Texas who then called in The HSUS to act as the lead animal welfare organization in the rescue mission. Invaluable sheltering and logistics assistance was also provided by Smith County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas State Fairgrounds.

Rescuers are removing all of the horses from the property and transporting them to a temporary shelter. Once the horses reach the shelter they will be checked by a team of veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical care. The horses will be cared for at the shelter until their custody is determined.

Horse owners who can no longer care for their horses have many humane options available to them:

  • Sell the horse to a properly vetted, private owner
  • Lease the horse to another horse enthusiast
  • Donate the horse to a therapeutic riding center, park police unit or similar program
  • Relinquish the horse to a horse rescue or sanctuary
  • Consider humane euthanasia.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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