In fall 2022, Central Virginia Horse Rescue aided Spotsylvania County and the Virginia State Task Force in the seizure of eight horses from a property where they had not had food or water for at least the two weeks prior to the seizure. The urgency of removing the horses increased the longer they lived in the unseasonably warmer weather, and CVHR was requested to aide in the seizure of the horses that remained alive on the property.
It was 130 days before all the appeals were exhausted, and CVHR received ownership of the horses from the county, 130 days of care of which most of the cost of care fell directly on CVHR and its donors. The total cost of care calculated using the average daily cost of care per equine for each horse amounted to $2,484.30. This care was made possible with support from the Aune Sturdy Animal Protection Fund of The Community Foundation.
When an investigation begins into a neglect and cruelty of an equine, most counties do not have the facilities to house an animal of that size, and in this case, there were numerous horses that were in varying degrees of health.
The horses were transported to the CVHR farm where they were given a full examination by the CVHR vet, Dr. Kate Moga. The horses were found to be stressed ,malnourished and clinically dehydrated upon arrival. Three of the five mares were later determined to be pregnant including one senior mare who was not only underweight but at an age where foaling was high risk.
These horses were all initially saved from being sent to slaughter by unknowing people with the best of intentions who thought they were sending the horses to a happy retirement farm where they would be cared for and not made to suffer. It is doubly cruel to save a horse from slaughter only to send it to an uncertain future where it will be cruelly treated, neglected and starved.
We are grateful to those who support CVHR through donations and volunteerism in order to make this partnership with our local animal control divisions possible. In 2022, CVHR brought in a total of twenty-seven horses through cruelty, neglect and abandonment. This number is up from nine of these cases the previous year. Already in 2023, CVHR has aided local animal control divisions in the intake of nineteen horses who were neglected and treated cruelly.