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New homes beckon for 17 horses from trailer smash

August 15, 2010

Seventeen horses who survived a horror truck-and-trailer accident while on the way to slaughter have been secured by two animal welfare groups.

The Humane Society of the United States and Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue have won custody of the horses, who survived the accident in Oklahoma in May.

The charities will now work to find new homes for the horses.

"These horses had already been through so much, and still faced the possibility of being shipped to slaughter when we intervened," said Cynthia Armstrong, the humane society's Oklahoma state director.

"We are very happy that the owner agreed to give these horses a shot at living a full life, in the comfort of a loving family."

The horses were among a group of 30 equines being carried in a truck-and trailer to slaughter when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The truck overturned on Turner Turnpike.

Eleven horses were killed in the crash or had to be euthanised due to their injuries. Two more died later as a result of their injuries.

The accident led to a call from the Animal Welfare Institute for tougher federal legislation around the transport of horses. The institute noted that the horses were being carried in a trailer built for cattle, not horses.

The two charities worked together to negotiate the release of the remaining horses from their Missouri-based owner, a slaughterhouse middleman known as a killer buyer.

Through the negotiations, the killer buyer ultimately decided he wanted to "do the right thing" by allowing these horses to go up for adoption.

Two anonymous donors provided the funding needed to cover the costs to secure the release of the horses, their transport to Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue's facility and their immediate veterinary needs.

The horses will remain in the care of the horse rescue group until they are ready to be adopted.

"I am so glad that these horses now have a second chance at life," said Natalee Cross, president of Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue.

"They were doomed for slaughter for human consumption, suffered a trailer wreck and now have a chance to be part of someone's family.

"They will know what love is and no longer fear what is around the corner."

The non-profit group has rescued 598 horses since December 2001. It has rehomed 460 of them.



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