Authorities rescue 10 malnourished horses in Pender County

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email
Updated by Laura Sinacori - email

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -  The Topsail Humane Society has received and outpouring of support after WECT reported the seizure of 10 malnourished horses in Pender County.

Several people offered to donate money and horse feed or to volunteer.

Three people are facing animal cruelty charges after deputies seized 10 malnourished horses from a home.

At least one horse at the Hampstead farm is so malnourished his fur is falling off his body and he's hitting the ground.  You can see his ribs, but he's not alone.

"Some of them weigh 400 pounds and they should weigh 1100," said Kathy Lewis with the Topsail Humane Society.

Investigators received complaints from several people who drove by the horses everyday.  The owners were given criminal summons and the horses were seized.

"The colt is trying to nurse and the mother doesn't have the nutrition she needs," said Lewis.

The rescued horses are now being taken care of and are eating plenty of food, but the director of Topsail Animal Services says the reality is this will likely happen again.

"The way the economy is we're going to see this more and more in Pender County," said Lewis.  "We're a rural county. If you can't afford your animals don't be ashamed. Contact topsail or some rescue group."

Sheriffs deputies say there is no excuse for mistreating animals.

"Get it out there that we're not going to tolerate this," said Michael Lewis with the Pender County Sheriff's Office.  "With horses or any animals for that matter. People are responsible for their pets."

Saturday a blacksmith fixed the horse's hooves.  Next week they will fix their teeth.  The horses will stay at the Saddle Shop in Hampstead for a few weeks until they gain weight.  Then they will be placed in foster homes.

The owners are expected to appear in court at the end of May.

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