Just before the winter storm that ravaged the east coast last weekend began, several neglected horses were in desperate need of saving. Some were so physically weak, they were unable to stand.
On Friday, January 22, Last Chance Ranch (LCR) in Quakertown, Pennsylvania received a phone call to come to the aid of over 16 horses, in addition to two dozen sheep and a dog, from a home in Pennsylvania, CBS Philly reported.
LCR immediately came to the scene and got to work transporting five horses who were in critical condition. "Several horses are pregnant," Jackie Burke, equine health manager at LCR, told The Dodo. "The horses don't have any other medical conditions, just associated issues that arise with starvation, including dehydration, depression and difficulty standing."
Staff and volunteers had to use tarps to move the horses into rescue vehicles.
A sling was used to carry the heaviest horse, with assistance from the Richlandtown Fire Department.
On Tuesday, after the storm, seven more horses were transported from the residence and into emergency medical care, along with the sheep and dog.
"The three emaciated horses that arrived at our facility on Tuesday were not able to stand during the trailer ride," LCR shared on a Facebook post detailing the rescue. "These horses had to be pulled off the trailer and carried into our barn."
The rescue went on to describe this case as the worst case of neglect they had ever seen. "Everyone pulled together to literally carry these stoic horses not giving up their will to live," the post said.
As of now, four horses still remain at the original residence and are being cared for by local volunteers who were involved in the rescue efforts. "Once the drive gets cleared by a volunteer who will plow and the snow melts some more, it will be safe enough to get a trailer to the site to remove these horses," Burke said. "We are waiting since these horses are in better condition and do not lead well to the trailer."
"Details of the situation are not able to be disclosed, as this is an ongoing investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police," LCR posted on Facebook. "Last Chance Ranch is doing everything we can to ensure the animals in our care are receiving the veterinary and nutritional care they need to get them back up to speed."
Burke told The Dodo that all the animals so far are doing very well under veterinarian care and are expected to fully recover.
If you'd like to help support the recovery of these horses, consider making a donation here.