Neglected horses recover after Facebook post leads to rescue

WKRN - BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two neglected horses are recovering in Middle Tennessee after help came thanks to a post on Facebook.

JT and Chinook are now in the care of Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary in Cottontown and are expected to make a full recovery.

"Some concerned citizens saw him, JT, laying down a lot and called in. Metro went out to investigate and found that the hoofs had severely overgrown which caused him to lay down a lot, from the pain. It has caused severe ligament damage," said facility manager Courtney Alexander.

Alexander believes the horses had been neglected for years. Both horses were found off of Highway 100 with matted hair, while JT had what they call "elf shoes."

"Horses require regular maintenance. They require their hoofs to be trimmed every four to six weeks so you [have to] imagine this horse has been out there two-and-a-half years. His hoofs are grown, he's in so much pain he's laying down, and from lying down so much he has sores on his elbows. We are going to have to have some surgery kind of done there to help those heal," explained Alexander.

She said Chinook's hoofs broke off. The sanctuary is working to help her gain weight and become more socialized.

"What I can do is give these horses my energy and their healing, give them what they need and educate people that horses are more than, they are not ATV's. They need a lot of care; they need a lot of care. You can't just stick them in a field. They will get hurt, they will get sick as you can see JT in severe pain," she explained.

Over the past week volunteers have been working to get the horses back to normal.

The work on JT's hoofs included using a hacksaw to take off all of the excess toe, then removing false sole to create balance so he would have a flat walking surface for the first time in years.

"They are definitely feeling better. I haven't seen him stand this much since he's got here," said Alexander.

She added they are overjoyed by the progress of the horses and thankful that someone called in their concerns to Metro Animal Control.

"There's a lot of good with Facebook, and if it wasn't for that phone call or several phone calls, they wouldn't be here you know and we don't know how much longer that horse would be in pain or even alive."

The owner surrendered the horses to MAC and is now facing one charge for animal cruelty.

Alexander said a full recovery will likely take about a year. They then hope to adopt the two horses out as a pair.

Safe Harbor is a nonprofit that is run solely by volunteers. For more on how you can help, click here.

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