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MD and WV Law Enforcement to Provide Intervention and Rehabilitation Services for 8 Horses in Critical Condition

MD and WV Law Enforcement to Provide Intervention and Rehabilitation Services for 8 Horses in Critical Condition

Days End Farm Horse Rescue, (DEFHR), a nationally-​recognized equine welfare nonprofit organization that ensures quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education and outreach, deployed its services in Maryland to remove and transport four senior horses in distress on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at the request of animal welfare authorities. On scene, the horses were lacking water and adequate forage and required immediate veterinary care. The impounding veterinarian confirmed animal control officers’ concerns and the horses were promptly removed due to exigent circumstances. Upon arrival at DEFHR, all four horses, which are mares, were seen by a veterinarian for entrance exams and found to be very dehydrated and in various stages of emaciation. Each have a guarded prognosis and conditions range from extremely emaciated, to significant pain, to such poor dentition that they are unable to eat properly. 

“The dentals on these mares are beyond neglected. They all are having difficulties with eating,” said DEFHR Equine Programs Director, DeEtte Hillman. “They likely have not received dental care in close to two decades; domesticated horses require at a minimum an annual dental floating. Our priority right now is to get these mares stabilized and some much-​needed nutrients in them.”

These four horses arrived on the heels of four other equines (2 mares, a yearling filly, and a stallion mule) that arrived during the week of March 21, 2022 from West Virginia. As a result, DEFHR staff and volunteers are managing eight equines in critical condition in addition to the 72 currently in the organization’s care — 30 of which are in a holding pattern and not yet able to enter training and subsequently be offered for adoption due to forthcoming court proceedings.

While equine education for law enforcement officers and the general public is a core component of DEFHR’s mission, equally critical is the organization’s ability to intervene and provide rehabilitation services and training in Maryland and across state lines so that previously neglected or abused horses have the most promising chance at a meaningful and bright future.

“This is a prime example of the work we do at Days End Farm Horse Rescue,” stated CEO Erin Clemm Ochoa. “With these two recent cases, our focus is to give these eight new patients the exceptional care for which our organization is known, and support them on their road to recovery through the implementation of re-​feeding protocols under veterinary direction. Equine rehabilitation is DEFHR’s sweet spot and these horses have the best chance possible under our vigilant monitoring and care.”

DEFHR is a privately funded organization and is welcoming donations towards their critical care fund to support horses in need. To donate visit www.defhr.org or call 301.854.5037

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