Two Horses Survive, One Put Down After Months of Neglect

Minge Wiseman, left, a Blythewood horsewoman and member of Fairfield County Hoof and Paw animal rescue group, and Fairfield County Animal Control Director David Brown lead two of the three rescued horses into a safe haven in Blythewood where Wiseman has been caring for them.

Minge Wiseman examines the full grown 4-year old bay mare who suffers from stunted growth and weighed only 400 pounds when rescued. The mare should have weighed between 1,000-1,200 pounds for her age. A third horse, a 3-year old, weighed only 200 pounds with severely stunted growth and had to be euthanized.

FAIRFIELD – Two horses are beginning the healing process, while another was euthanized last week after Fairfield Animal Control removed the animals from a pasture on Cook Road, not far from the Lang Mekra plant off Highway 34.

David Brown, Director of Animal Control, said his department received a call June 10 from an individual concerned about the condition of the horses. Upon investigation, Brown found a mare, approximately 9-12 years old; a filly, approximately 3-4 years old; and what appeared to be a weanling. All three animals were in extremely poor condition, Brown said.

Brown said the owner of the pasture in which the horses were discovered told him that the animals had been left behind months ago by neighbors who had moved away. Other horses on the property were healthy, Brown said. The ailing horses were taken by Animal Control with the agreement that the pasture owner would not be prosecuted, Brown said, and the animals were transported to a pasture in Blythewood where they are being looked after by Minge Wiseman, a Blythewood horse trainer. The animals were examined by Camden veterinarian Nicole Cunningham on June 12. During examinations by Wiseman and Cunningham, it was discovered that the horse originally believed to have been a weanling was actually another filly, between 2 and 3 years old. According to Cunningham’s report, the animal weighed only 200 pounds, was running a fever and was “severely emaciated.” The horse could not stand for any length of time, Brown said, and a day later was euthanized.

“She had the will, but her body was gone,” Brown said.

Wiseman said the surviving animals are feeding four times a day, but are still in a depressed state, with little energy. Their body sores and symptoms of rain rash have been medicated, she said.

“I’ve never seen horses like this in my 40 years of working with horses,” Wiseman said.

The horses will remain on the pasture, owned by Wiseman’s neighbors, until July 15, after which time they will have to find a new home.

“Minge took on the challenge,” Brown said, “and we want to thank her for doing so. We also want to thank Dr. Cunningham for coming down to examine the animals.”

Brown said it could cost as much as $2,000 to rehabilitate the horses, and donations of food and medicine were also needed. Brown said anyone interested in contributing to the care of these animals can call Janice Emerson at 803-447-3602. And, he added, people who are no longer able to care for their animals should call Animal Control before the animals fall into a state of neglect.

“We don’t want anyone to be ashamed or afraid of prosecution,” Brown said. “Call us before the animals get into such bad shape.”

Fairfield County Animal Control can be reached by calling 803-635-9944.

Brown said his department is searching for the original owners of these horses, and if they can be located they may indeed face charges of neglect.

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