CENTREVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—It’s believed to be the largest case of horse abuse in Maryland history. More than 130 horses are found in terrible health on a farm in Queen Anne’s County.
Kelly McPherson explains the horses were seized and some had to be put down.
About 133 horses were seized from the Canterbury Farm on the Eastern Shore Friday morning dying of starvation and neglect.
“To see a situation of this magnitude, it’s heart-breaking,” said Stacy Segal, Humane Society of the United States.
Canterbury Farm’s web site labels itself as America’s largest breeder of Polish Arabian horses, promising buyers they’ll feel like they’re “watching puppies in horse clothing” when they visit.
That’s not what the sheriff’s department and Humane Society discovered.
They are taking away all of them.
“The horses here are significantly underweight, have parasites, need hoof work, dental work, lice infestation. Just an all around neglect situation,” said Dave MacGlashan, Director of Queen Anne’s County Animal Services.
“There’s no muscle mass or fat tissue left on their body,” said Marci D’Alessio, Days End Farm Horse Rescue board member. “What their body has done is cannibalized it all to survive.”
In a few hours, the Humane Society found private farms and charities to board and care for all 133 horses, a seemingly impossible task.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue and Paradise Stables are taking 83 of the neglected horses. They all need critical care, which costs $2,500 per month per horse.
The malnourished horses are still skittish but seem anxious to be where much needed medical treatment and food—they may have never had—await.
“Generally, when you shake a can of grain they perk their head up and come toward you because they know it’s food,” D’Alessio said.
“It’s very sad that they’re as sickly as they are, but to see them for the first time maybe ever on grass was awesome,” said Elizabeth Tate Winters, Paradise Stables owner. “Not everybody in their lifetime has an opportunity to say ‘That’s my thumbprint, I made a difference.’”
Most, if not all, of the care needed for the horses will depend upon donations.