FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MICHIGAN HORSE WELFARE COALITION ASSISTS IN RESCUE OF HORSES FROM CRUELTY AND NEGLECT CASES IN SANILAC AND ANTRIM COUNTIES
LANSING, Mich. (May 9, 2013) –The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) has assisted Sanilac County Animal Control and the Antrim County Animal Control in the removal of 26 horses from two cases of neglect and starvation, and now seeks donations from the public in caring for and rehabilitating the horses.
In late April, Sanilac County Animal Control seized eight horses from a neglect and abandonment case, and called upon the MHWC to assist with placement of the horses into new safe and caring homes. The owner of the horses was charged with felony animal abandonment and cruelty and cannot own or possess animals for two years, and is now serving two years of probation and is paying all fines and costs for the care of the horses.
“These horses had been on this property all their lives, and their owner provided little contact other than to throw hay over the fence at them and provide water,” said Officer Galbenski of Sanilac County Animal Control. “The horses have not had vet care in years, their hooves were in desperate need of help, their manes matted, and several of the horses had little to no shelter at all to protect them from the elements.”
After being removed from the site, all eight horses were evaluated by a veterinarian and are currently being moved to MHWC Member Rescue facilities and foster homes.
Today, Thursday, May 9, the MHWC is also assisting Antrim County law enforcement officials in the removal of 18 horses from a farm in Ellsworth. All of the horses are being transported to Serenity Farms, a horse facility at 54 Marlette in Frederic, for vetting, evaluation and care, and will then be moved to foster homes. The owners of the horses have been charged with neglect of ten or more animals, which is a four-year felony offense under Michigan’s animal cruelty statute.
“The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition is glad to be able to help law enforcement and animal control agencies across the state in cases like these,” said Jodi Louth, MHWC’s Vice President and RescueCoordinator. “But now, donations are needed from the public to help us care for these horses and to continue our lifesaving work across the state.”
Updates on the progress and adoption of the horses in these cases can be found at the MHWC Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Michigan-Horse-Welfare-Coalition/114673545269991?fref=ts.
“Michiganders care very much about horses, so they have put strict laws in place to protect them. Horse owners must understand that it is against the law in our state to deny food or veterinary care or to abandon a horse or any animal,” said Jill Fritz, MHWC President. “Resources and assistance are out there; if you find that you cannot feed or provide adequate veterinary care to your horses, you can ask for help. But if you don’t, and you violate the state’s animal cruelty law, then you must face the consequences.”
The MHWC is here to lend a hand to horse owners struggling financially. The coalition of horse rescue organizations and sanctuaries, horse care professionals, and individual horse owners operates a hay bank to provide hay and feed assistance to horse owners facing a temporary financial hardship due to setbacks such as an illness or a job loss, and to help law enforcement agencies and horse rescue operations deal with large-scale cruelty and neglect cases. The MHWC can also help horse owners to effectively plan for the future. Those seeking assistance from the Michigan Hay Bank can find eligibility guidelines and an application on the MHWC’s website at www.michiganhorsewelfare.org, or can call (517) 321-3683.
Though MHWC is working hard to supply hay for struggling horse owners, monetary donations are always needed to ensure that a sufficient amount of funds are available to help purchase food. To contribute to the Michigan Hay Bank, please visit www.michiganhorsewelfare.org/donate.
The MHWC would like to thank the following organizations, businesses and individuals for their assistance with the Sanilac County case: Sanilac/Tuscola County Animal Control; “Once Horse at a Time” (for their grant to geld the six stallions on the property) at http://onehorseatatime.org/OHAAT/ and https://www.facebook.com/OHAAT; MHWC Member Rescue Horses’ Haven at http://www.horseshaven.org/, Dr. James A Rooker and the staff of Rooker Veterinary Hospital in Davison; Beverly Chapman; Denise Sandmann of Sandmann Farms at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandmann-Farm-LLC/217974488227835; Eric Terry; and Marcos Vidal.
And in the Antrim County case, the MHWC would like to thank: Antrim County Animal Control; MHWC Member Rescues Horse North Rescue at http://www.horsenorthrescue.org/ and Second Chance Ranch and Rescue at http://www.secondchanceranchandrescue.com/scrr/Home.html; and Missy Plauman of Serenity Ranch.
The Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition is composed of individuals from rescue organizations, breed groups, veterinarians, state officials, law enforcement agencies, equine media, and concerned citizens. We are dedicated to helping horse owners struggling to provide for their animals, and saving as many horses as possible from abuse, abandonment, and neglect. On the web at www.michiganhorsewelfare.org.