Owner surrenders starving Auberry horses to Silverwings Horse Rescue

August 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The owner of nearly two dozen starving horses has agreed to turn some of them over as she continues to be the focus of an animal neglect investigation. Nine horses are now with the Silverwings Horse Rescue group.

She will surrender another five horses to Silverwings Thursday. The group's founder showed us the horses Wednesday. They're being fed a healthy amount of hay, they are underweight and some are pregnant.

The mares and their babies sifted through small piles of hay. It's food they've had very little of, or gone completely without in recent weeks. The underweight animals arrived at Silverwings Horse Rescue late Wednesday evening.

"We're over capacity, but we felt a special need to help this woman," said founder Gina Caglia. "And we agreed to take all of her mares with babies. It will be 14 horses total."

Caglia saidthis is not the worst case of malnutrition she's seen. But many of the animals at the property near Prather are severely underweight. The land there is bare, and with very little food the stallions make it difficult for females and young horses to get a bite to eat.

"They're in a greater need," Caglia said. "They're more susceptible to infection, malnutrition, the babies especially. When you're in a herd environment and you fall on hard times, sometimes the lower ones are the ones that suffer. So we wanted to get them up here, that they were fed and taken care of and medicated and they have a good chance of being re-homed."

The Central California SPCA has said animal control officers are looking into whether the owner has broken the law in neglecting the horses. Neighbors have complained for weeks about the visibility of hip bones, rib cages and spines on the equines.

Caglia says the CCSPCA has stepped in and taken four of the sickest horses from the owner. "She said they had told her they were going to come back for more," said Caglia.

Neighbors and other people have dropped off or donated money for hay to feed the starving horses. But Caglia says the owner admitted even when she finds work, she won't be able to keep up the health of her animals.

The CCSPCA has not commented on the investigation since last Friday. Silverwings, though, regularly helps the CCSPCA when its facilities are over capacity.

Since Silverwings has these additional horses, the rescue group is now asking for donations to care for them. Click here to visit their webpage.


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