Fairfield deputies L.E.A.R.N about horse starvation

L.E.A.R.N. Rescue’s Elizabeth Steed, right, addresses Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies and animal shelter employees about how to know if a horse is neglected or starving. Eddie, the horse in the photo, owned by Farewell Farm owner Joyce Hill, is in perfect health but was used in the hands-on model for the demonstration. | Barbara Ball

WINNSBORO – The Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society arranged a hands-on seminar last week at Blythewood’s Farewell Farm to provide Fairfield County law enforcement and animal control personnel in-depth information about how to recognize abuse, neglect and starvation in horses.

The seminar was requested by Fairfield County law enforcement after two Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies suspected that two horses they observed during routine patrol were starving.

“Instead of ‘wondering’ and going on their way, the deputies took action, “ Hoof and Paw member Kathy Faulk said. “They called Bob Innes, the Director of Fairfield County Animal Control, and he went out to check on the horses.”

Determining that they were, indeed, starving, Innes brought them to the county shelter’s equine facility and contacted the Hoof and Paw group who put Innes in touch with L.E.A.R.N Rescue in Charleston, where Elizabeth Steed specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of starved horses. Steed came to Winnsboro, picked up the horse, and they are now on the road to recovery under specialized care at the L.E.A.R.N. facility in Charleston.

“As a result of their experience, the deputies requested more information about how to recognize neglect and starvation in horses,” Faulk said. “So, we arranged the seminar which was conducted by Elizabeth. She is recognized by the state of South Carolina as an expert witness in cases of neglected and starved horses, and she’s frequently called to testify in court.”

Among the topics Steed covered during the two-hour seminar were: how to determine a horse’s body score, to know the difference between a starving horse and an older horse that is thin, but well cared for, how to determine age by a horse’s teeth and how to recognize whether a horses’ hooves are neglected.