WBIR - Twenty-two malnourished horses are now being cared for here in East Tennessee. They are part of a group of more than 50 rescued from a West Tennessee farm over the weekend.
"In February, we got a call from a concerned citizen about these 50-some-odd horses on 4 acres of land. We turned that information over to local authorities," said Mary Beth Roberts, director of development at Horse Haven.
Horse Haven helped pull 55 horses from the property of Jeffrey Mitchell, who has a history of animal cruelty convictions. Fifty-four of these horses survived the rescue.
"Four acres for 55 horses was simply not enough land for the horses. They will deplete the grass very, very quickly. As a matter of fact these horses were found in their own filth and in mud," said Roberts.
Horse Haven is taking care of 28 of the horses. Six of them are at the organization's Middle Tennessee location.
Veterinarian Gretchen Laws with Riverview Veterinary Services came out to take a first look at the rescued horses.
"They seem to be doing pretty well. They settled in well. The younger horses, we got a couple of lacerations out there. Mild stuff. Nothing major at all," said Laws.
Some of the mares are pregnant. Once they give birth and their offspring are weened for a short period of time, they will be available for adoption.
"We are making a plan for coming back in the next week or two, getting some stocks set up and trying to run them through and pregnancy-check everyone just to see where they are with their pregnancy status," said Laws.
Horse Haven is hosting an event Saturday called Help a Horse Day. It is a nationwide effort by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This effort raises awareness for rescues such as Horse Haven. The event goes 10am-3pm at the group's location.