Five starving horses scarred from fighting for food rescued in Geauga County; Owner faces charges

Horses' owner, daughter face charges

MONTVILLE, Ohio - In a clean horse stall with fresh hay in the southwest corner, Beetle, a 21-year-old gelding that was brought in weeks ago seems to eat with a hint of a content smile.

The reason? Three weeks ago he had been forced to eat part of a shelter, which was adjacent to a snow-covered pasture in Montville.

"You can feel his whole skeletal system," said Rescue Village office manager Adrianne Johnson. "He has a ton of extra hair trying to keep him warm because he doesn't have fat to keep him warm so I think that if he had a summer coat, you'd really see how thin he is. He's all scarred up because they were fighting for food."

The shelter, only large enough for only two horses, had been the only cover for five horses boarded there for a month by their owner, who had begged the farm to help after facing an eviction in Middlefield. Geauga Humane Officer Christian Courtwright said the boarding horse farm had attempted to help the horses' owner, but she left Ohio, leaving her grown daughter in charge of feeding them daily. Courtwright said the daughter rarely showed up.

"All the animals were rescued. They were originally seized and the owner signed them over to us. Right now, we have collected all the evidence we need to support animal cruelty charges and we're just waiting to turn them in to the municipal court here (in Chardon)," Courtwright said. Both the owner and her daughter will likely face charges.

Johnson, who is also a professional horse trainer, inspected the boarding location and helped bring in the five horses. She couldn't understand how they could have been left outside with little to zero food for a month and still be alive.

"On a scale of one to nine of physical condition, zero being dead, they were all mostly a 1, or low 2," Johnson said. "They did have blankets left on them since they were housed outside of a barn, or stall, so you couldn't tell their condition. When we took off the blankets and saw their ribs and bones sticking out through their skin, we could tell just how sad they looked."

"They're about as thin as you can be and while still being alive," Johnson said.

The horses will take months, if not a year, to fully recover enough for Rescue Village to be able to put them up for adoption, according to Courtwright. Two of them are 20 years old or more and the others are much younger, but they are hoping they can find them all a home next fall as pasture-mates or pleasure-ridden horses.

Donations can be made to Project S.A.V.E. by visiting geaugahumane.org; by check addressed to Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Rd., Russell Twp., OH 44026; or by credit card over the phone to Gail Keegan, Development Director, 440.338.4819 x40. For more info please contact info@geaugahumane.org.

To contact the Rescue Village, found at 15463 Chillicothe Rd, Russell Township, go to: geaugahumane.org

To contact or report animal abuse or cruelty in Geauga County email Christian Courtwright at: humaneagent@geaugahumane.org

For the Project S.A.V.E. site go to:

thttps://bn1prd0412.outlook.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=JXfqhbAls0O5GgCaqi2N1DciFzi9-s8IbOskqv8frHbj4PmUoRDFqopnAs3qIL2ZkaiXRTq2jZs.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fgeaugahumane.org%2fdonate%2fsave.html

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