Malnourished horse put down

A horse found near Emida was euthanized due to poor condition Oct. 18. Local residents said the horse had been at large for some time in the area without care. No party has come forward claiming ownership of the horse.

An abandoned horse near Emida has been euthanized after being left abandoned for as long as two years without care.

The horse’s caretakers – an impromptu group of local residents – made the decision to euthanize the animal based on advice from a veterinarian. Left alone for at least a year in the area, the horse’s condition had significantly deteriorated due to neglect and harsh conditions.

According to area resident Terrie Hills-Melton, the animal was found along Sanders Road near Emida by local teen Sierra Curtis Oct. 16. She said the animal was in poor condition, and appeared to have been neglected for some time.

“The young kid that was taking care of her reached out to the Humane Society asking for help,” Ms. Hills-Melton said. “Someone private messaged me, and I called the society to ask if they knew anything of it. They asked if I could go check on it and see, and I said yes.”

When she inspected the horse, she found it to be malnourished with swollen knees and sores. She said Ms. Curtis and her family volunteered to care for the animal, collecting needed supplies and furnishing shelter.

Ms. Hills-Melton said that the horse has been known to the community for some time, and is believed to have been roaming free without care for an extended period of time. She claimed there are other horses in a similar condition roaming the area, and that previous reports of the animals have been ignored.

“Everybody out here on Sanders has known about this horse and hasn’t done anything,” she said. “This horse has been running around on the mountain for possibly a year or two years. Nobody knew if it had an owner.”

Local residents were able to house the animal in an effort to rehabilitate it, but were unsuccessful. A veterinarian inspected the horse October 18, and based on their recommendation the horse was humanely euthanized.

“It was just going to be prolonged suffering,” Ms. Hills-Melton said. “She was older and had been left alone for a long time. She got a little bit of love and some food before the end.”

She said has taken responsibility for a majority of the horse’s veterinary costs, but that some community members have stepped forward to help cover a portion of the bill.

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