Owning a horse is a commitment - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Owning a horse is a commitment

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

TERRY, MS (WLBT) - The 20 horses seized in Ellisville by animal rescue crews Thursday is just a glimpse into a persisting problem.  Some owners were neglecting their horses under feeding and over breeding.

"The lady continued to breed.  They were in bad shape.  Some of them because their hooves were curled up so bad they'll probably have to be euthanized," said Stephanie Billingsley, owner of horse rescue Twelve Oaks Farm. 

Shelter space is limited and some healthy horses are often put down because there are not enough homes for them.

"We received an email the other day from a man about 90 miles from here that had 5 horses. He needed to bring to us and several sheriff's departments with horses they need to bring to us so it just goes on and on.  We really don't see an end in sight," said Mississippi Animal Rescue League Director Debra Boswell.

"My heart goes out to the horses," said Danielle Taylor, owner of Taylor Arabian in Terry.  She said part of the problem is people buying horses and not understanding all the work that goes in to keeping them healthy.

"You're looking at anywhere from at least $100 a month and that's not talking about vaccinations twice a year, 6 to 8 weeks," said Taylor.  "Anything can go wrong that a lot of people don't expect."

Like buying hay earlier this year because of the dry weather.

"People don't realize that when you take on a horse it is a good 25 years.  It's an every day, every morning, it never stops," said Taylor.

Breeders like Taylor make sure to inform interested customers about the commitment before they take home a horse.

"It can be rewarding.  These animals they give a lot back.  Can't say enough about them, but it's a big responsibility," said Taylor.

If you are interested in helping local horse shelters contact Mississippi Animal Rescue League at www.msarl.org or Twelve Oaks Farm at www.mississippihorses.org.  For more on Taylor's horses go to http://www.taylorarabian.com/.

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