Twenty four horses, including four who are pregnant, were seized from a Dauphin County farm by the Humane Society of Harrisburg last week.
Executive Director Amy Kaunas said the horses were all between a two and a three on a nine-point scaled used to assess their health. The lower the score the more dire a horse's physical condition.
The horses were seized from the farm of Rebecca L. Roberts on the 700 block of Laudermilch Road in East Hanover Township. Earlier this month, five living horses and one deceased horse were seized from the same farm. For those horses, Roberts faces six counts of cruelty to animals. Kaunas said they will bring multiple additional charges of cruelty to animals in the coming weeks.
Kaunas says Roberts has not made contact with the Humane Society since the original five horses were sized. Earlier this month, Kaunas said this is the first type of horse hoarding case she has seen.
Kaunas said it took 10 people four hours to get all 24 horses loaded into trailers on Friday. She said most of the horses had never come into contact with humans before.
Since they were not halter broken, the horses had to be ushered into trailers using cattle chutes.
The field the horses were found in was covered in up to five feet of manure in some spots. The muck made removing the horses from the farm difficult, Kaunas said. She said that if workers stood in one place for too long their feet would get stuck, which made it difficult to move out of the way of a startled horse.
The horses were also at risk of breaking a leg because of the muck.
Once removed from the farm, the horses were taken to several private farms and rescue facilities around the area. In addition to thousands of dollars in vet fees, it will take about $5,000 a month to board each horse.
Kaunas said when all is said and done the Humane Society could have $100,000 of unbudgeted costs for these horses. You can donate money towards their care at www.humanesocietyhbg.org or mail them to 7790 Grayson Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111.
They are also in need of vet wrap, epson salts, wormer, halters (weanling to adult), lead ropes, horse treats, peppermints, plastic food buckets, salt or mineral blocks, betadine solution and all sizes of waterproof blankets.