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Humane Society sees rise in horse malnutrition due to drought

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It's a growing problem in the Texas Panhandle and after the recent rescue of 14 malnourished horses, the Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society is looking for help.

Those horses were seized from a Panhandle resident after they were found malnourished. The tragic product of careless ownership as well as our ongoing drought.  After about a month of proper care, the now 15 horses (after the birth of a new filly) are almost back to good health.

"They're all highly adoptable, they're all good horses and we just hope to get them into homes," said Jena McFall, executive director of the Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society.

But not before they suffered from malnourishment for months. The sad fate of more and more cattle and horses in the panhandle.

"Yeah, I think it's a growing problem," said Laurie Higgins, president of the Dove Creek Equine Rescue, the group housing the Humane Society's rescued horses. "We get calls all the time."

"It's a growing problem because of the drought," explained McFall. "Because the drought removed a lot of the vegetation that was naturally there and it's getting worse and worse and worse."

Costing owners, and ultimately, the Humane Society.

"It cost more to euthanize a horse that it does to feed it," added McFall. "So they're not feeding it, they're not euthanizing it and basically they're just sitting around in a pasture starving to death."

It cost about $125 to $150 per month to take care of just one horse and that's just basic care. But the rescued horses, officials said, were way past needing just basic care a long time ago.

"Several have needed medical care, they've all needed vaccinations, they've all needed to be wormed, some have needed further care," said Higgins.

Although most are well on their way to recovery, they're all still searching for a permanent home.

"We can't take every horse but we do our best," said Higgins.

Anyone capable and willing to adopt of one those recently rescued horses is urged to do so. For more information, you need to contact the Humane Society at 373-1716.

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