MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - A recent bust in Jones County had animal rescue teams seizing 20 starving horses, some that may be beyond saving. 20 horses, sick and starving, are discovered on this property in Ellisville Thursday. The owner has a total of 52.
"A lot of people have been complaining about these horses for years that the lady continue to breed. They were in bad shape," said Stephanie Billingsley founder of www.mississippihorses.org and owner of Twelve Oaks Farm in Madison County.
The horses were taken to Have A Heart horse rescue in Carroll County, but not all will survive.
"Some of them, unfortunately because their hooves are curled up so bad, they'll probably have to be euthanized. Some of them we just can't save," said Billingsley.
She works with other horse rescue groups to save neglected horses across the country. One and a half year old Precious was one of about 100 horses seized from Pike County. She was found emaciated, parasitic. She was recovering at 12 Oaks Farm and started gaining weight.
"I bring them over here. I have a trainer and she works with the horses because they're more adoptable. If you can ride them people tend to adopt them," said Billingsley.
12 Oaks Farm can house 20 horses. It remains full and there's a long waiting list for other horses needing a place to stay.
"It's just right now hard to find a home for horses. There's just way too many horses than there are homes," said Billingsley.
"Part of it is the economy. Some of it is just apathy and the people they can't afford them or they grow tired of them," said Deborah Boswell, Director of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League.
Boswell urged people to think about the expense before taking on any pet, especially a horse.
"It's not just another, "oh I got some extra grass and a little pasture. Let's get a couple of horses to put out there." It's more than that. It's a commitment," said Boswell.
If you are interested in helping Billingsley with her non-profit go to www.mississippihorses.org. The Mississippi Animal Rescue League also is a non-profit and could use help at www.msarl.org.