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41 horses seized at Thomas County residence  Click on the link above to read this article in the Thomas Times-Enterprise. 

On November 1, 2011, the Thomas County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Department seized 41 emaciated and neglected horses and ponies from a private residence near Thomasville.  The owners were arrested and charged with animal cruelty. 

Volunteers of Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., and the Georgia Equine Rescue League (GERL) worked together to evacuate these horses and ponies and are now providing medical care, hay, feed, and farrier services to rehabilitate these animals.   

All of us are working hard every day to provide for the needs of these horses and ponies and we couldn’t do it without your support and encouragement.  YOU ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR MISSION, just as important to the success of this effort as those of us who are working with the horses and ponies every day.

Saying, “WE THANK YOU” just seems so small.   

For the first two weeks that one of the pony foals was at DCFHR, we feared the little fellow wouldn’t make it.  His mother was starved, and therefore he was starved.  He weaved when he walked, lay down frequently, got very little milk from his mother, walked with his head down, and showed very little life.  Today, 16 days after his rescue, he flew around the barn in a full out gallop, full of life and spirit.  That’s our paycheck!  And that is a better “thank you” than our words could ever say.

You have made a difference in the lives of these animals.  Because of your donations, we have been able to provide not only desperately needed hay and feed but also critical veterinary and farrier care. 

These horses and ponies came to us malnourished, most of them emaciated, heavily loaded with internal parasites.  Several were in such bad conditions that they would have died in the next few days if rescue had not come. 

Beginning October 2, DCFHR and GERL volunteers began taking hay to the horses and ponies in order to save their lives.  We offered help and solutions to the owners.  The horses had been kept in small, overcrowded, wooded areas with no pasture.  They had eaten the bark and lower limbs off almost all of the trees, had chewed fenceposts, and apparently had eaten whatever manure they could find in their desperate search for food. 

Our deep gratitude and appreciation goes to Thomas County (Georgia) Sheriff Carlton Powell who, when he saw the starved bodies of these animals and the horrendous conditions in which they existed, took immediate action.  It was an honor to work with the officers and deputies of the sheriff’s department whose professionalism set the tone for the evacuation procedure. 

On November 1, many volunteers selflessly gave of their time and expertise to get these horses and ponies to a better home.  Several people took half a day off work to come help us.  Everyone gave not only their time but also used their personal trucks and trailers – at their own expense – to transport these horses and ponies. 

Except for the initial law enforcement and legal efforts, no tax dollars were spent.  All of the rescue efforts, and now the rehabilitation of these animals, have been possible because of private donations and everyone pitching in to help when they saw the need.

Often while we’re working we stop and marvel at what has happened here in the last few weeks.  Because everyone has pitched in, these 41 horses and ponies now have life and a future. 

We are very grateful to you.

In addition to the many people who saw the need and responded with financial help and donations, special thanks go to: 

-       Dr. Mary Rogers of Red Hills Equine Veterinary Services who has gone above and beyond the call of duty;

-       To Holly, Jennifer, Lynn, Dan, and others who provided “people” food to hungry, busy volunteers so that we could keep on working without having to stop and worry about food for ourselves;

-       To many professionals, including RNs and veterinarians, who gave us their help on their days off;

-       To feed stores and hay suppliers who donated items immediately in those first critical days.

-       And especially to the community at large, whether you are in South Georgia or far away, who answered our call for help.

The horses and ponies are steadily making progress because of you. 

Remember the mental image of the little starved pony foal that tore off at a gallop around the barn, finally free of the sadness and hunger?  Let that and the sound of small hooves pounding the ground be the mental image of this thank you letter from us to you. 

Together, we will ALL make a difference. 

Anita Meisen and Anne Campbell, DCFHR

Debora Hines, GERL