State nurses horses back to health, makes them available for adoption

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Several rescued horses, now not malnourished and uncared for, are available for adoption, in accordance to Connecticut’s lawyer normal.

Attorney General William Tong and Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt introduced on Thursday that the state secured custody of eight horses seized from Laurel Ledge Farm in Oakdale. After intensive medical care and rehabilitation on the state’s Second Chance Large Animal Rehabilitation Program in Niantic, Tong and Hurlburt mentioned the horses have been wholesome sufficient to be adopted.

Tong’s workplace, performing on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, mentioned it moved for everlasting custody of the uncared for horses final month. Their proprietor, Michelle R. Wilson, agreed to relinquish custody.

“We are lucky that this story has a contented ending, however these horses ought to by no means have suffered on this approach,” Tong said. “State help is available by means of the Department of Agriculture, and animal homeowners in want ought to search assist instantly, lengthy earlier than authorized motion turns into needed. I need to thank the knowledgeable caretakers on the Second Chance Large Animal Rehabilitation Program for actually giving these stunning horses a second probability at a loving and completely happy life.”

“Finding suitable homes for each of these horses is our highest priority,” Hurlburt said. “They have already endured the unthinkable and deserve to be loved unconditionally.”

The state first secured temporary custody of nine horses from Laurel Ledge Farm in Sept. 2020. Eight of the nine horses recovered in state care in the Second Chance program. One of the horses continued to deteriorate following the seizure and had to be euthanized.

The horses up for adoption are named Tristan, Regal, Avadon, Ember, Cabot, Sullivan, Sebastian, and Bailey. Two other horses previously seized and in state custody in an unrelated case are also up for adoption. To be considered, interested parties should fill out an application form, specifying which horse they seek. Potential adopters will be thoroughly vetted through a background check and site visit to verify adequate facilities. All adopters will be required to sign an agreement. For more information, click here.

The state action was triggered by a complaint from Montville Animal Control which reported extremely underweight horses. State animal authorities unsuccessfully urged Wilson to consult with an equine veterinarian and to provide medical care. Equine veterinarians found all suffered from neglected dental care, and three were in obvious and significant dental pain. All nine horses lacked proper hoof care, including a severe bacterial infection in one. Three of the nine horses needed extreme and immediate hoof care. Eight of the nine horses had some degree of lameness, and two were severely lame and in obvious pain. Several were malnourished, some severely so.

The Department of Agriculture said it recognizes the hardship experienced by many animal owners due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, including job loss resulting in financial instability. Additionally, severe drought throughout much of the state in 2020 limited available grazing during the summer months and negatively impacted the production of feed, including hay. The agency has compiled a directory of hay resources, as well as COVID-19 resources, which are available at Livestock and home animal homeowners are inspired to attain out if extra help is required. 

Wilson was charged with 9 counts of cruelty to animals. The felony matter is pending in Norwich Superior Court.

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