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Abused Horses Get Second Chance At Life On Farm

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A half-dozen emaciated horses removed from a Harford County farm are getting a second chance at life.

Christie Ileto explains they have a long road to recovery.

The horses are still in the early stages of rehabilitation, but they’re eating regularly, which caretakers say is always a good sign.

Indiana eats five meals a day now but earlier this month, Harford County Animal Control says she and five other horses were almost starved to death at a Forest Hill farm.

“Malnourished, emaciated,” said Caroline Robertson.

That’s how Robertson describes the four mares and two stallions now in their care at Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Howard County.

“It’s one of the worst [cases], yes,” Robertson said.

Harford County officials say the owner could no longer care for the animals and was in the process of giving them away, which caused the horses to get grossly underweight.

“You can see the backbone, the spine, all the way down her back,” said Brittney Carow.

Caretakers say the body condition scale for animals ranges 1-9 with one being the skinniest. Veterinarians consider five an acceptable body score.

“She ranks out on the one range. She has very little body fat,” said Carow.

Right now, the horses weigh a little more than a thousand pounds but still have hundreds of pounds to pack back on. That’s something that will have to be done over a period of time.

“Horses’ rehabilitation is very slow because you don’t want to shove food quickly into their system,” said Robertson.

And along with regular meals to pack on weight, the horses are also being treated for skin infections. Recovery will be long and costly, but caretakers say these six are lucky to be alive.

Caretakers say the care can cost up to $2,400 a horse per month. If you would like to help rehabilitate them or learn more about the Days End Farm, click here.

Harford County Animal Control are determining if charges will be filed against the horses’ owner.

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