A horse rescue in New Hampshire has taken in 16 extra horses with winter approaching, following a seizure on a property in Littleton.
Volunteers with Live and Let Live Farm uplifted the animals on Wednesday and took them back to its Chichester base.
Eight of the horses are miniatures and there is even a six-month-old clydesdale among them.
In all, seven of the horses are stallions.
The charity’s executive director, Teresa Paradis, said the farm had 50 horses which they were preparing to winter over. Now, that number had blown out with the arrival of the rescue animals.
Authorities acted after the New Hampshire Governor’s office, Littleton Police Department and the State Department for Agricultural Animals received complaints from locals about the alleged neglect of more than 20 horses, alpacas and llamas living on a property in Main Street, Littleton.
Last Monday, state officials called Paradis to ask for help in rescuing the animals.
Paradis organised a convoy of trailers and 16 of the horses were uplifted on Wednesday. The other animals went to other homes nearby.
Paradis told Horsetalk that the quick intervention by local people in getting action prevented the situation getting worse.
It appeared the animals had been trucked in from Nevada in the past year, some allegedly without the proper health certification.
The animals were being kept in an area that was too small for 23 horses and the fencing was inadequate. Some were unwell, with the likes of runny noses, and their general hoof condition was poor.
There was up to eight inches of muck in their enclosure, which the minis were having trouble negotiating.
“Hooves are over-grown and not properly cared for; horses have been seen stumbling and falling down when trying to walk,” Paradis said.
“Stallions may have been mixed with mares, so there is a good chance … some could be pregnant,” she said.
The charity is bracing for the big cost of rehabilitating the extra horses and wintering them over.
“The cost of hay, feed, supplements and what appears to be extensive medical rehabilitation care, dental and hoof care needed, as well as the gelding surgery expenses, will be in the thousands.
“It will be difficult, especially going into the winter season, when even more hay is needed to be fed to help the animals keep warm and healthy.
“We will need all the help we can get, but we cannot let these animals suffer any longer in their current conditions,” Paradis said.
Donations for the medical fund, feed and hay are welcome and can be made at the rescue’s website, through the donations tab near the top, or by mail to Live and Let Live Farm Rescue, 20 Paradise Lane, Chichester, NH 03258