Starving Horses in GT Co. Find New Home

These horses are again in good hands after being found in rough conditions.

Animal rescue workers say the horses were found neglected and starving just over a month ago.

The animals were recovered from a farm in Grand Traverse County’s Acme Township and brought to Horse North Rescue in Kingsley for safe-keeping.

“This is a really severe sign of emaciation,” said Horse North Rescue’s Brielle Porter.

This is Rusty.

He may be chowing down now but less than a month ago, he and two other horses were found starving to death.

“Rusty is in awful condition,” said Porter. “This is due to just direct neglect; there is no other reason for a horse to get in this condition. Both of the horses were found to be emaciated, both of them were very malnourished.”

The horses were in visibly poor shape–an investigation was launched when animal control was tipped off by someone worried about the horses’ well-being.

“I was concerned about the horse and I saw Rusty–pulled my car right over to the side of the road and dialed animal control immediately,” said concerned citizen Deb Zerafa. “I was so upset I was shaking.”

“We’ve been working since then to try to work with the owners to gain compliance to get these horses healthy,” said Grand Traverse County Animal Control Director Tom Buss. “Unfortunately, during that time period, one of the horses did die.”

It took nearly a month from the time of the first complaint to when the horses arrived at Horse North Rescue.

Now rusty and his miniature friend twinkle have a long road ahead of them.

“With a horse like him who’s been starved for so long, that is so severely emaciated, it takes a long time to build his body up,” said Porter of Rusty. “It’s going to be a very long haul.”

As for what comes next–hopefully it’s greener pastures.

“We screen them for the greatest potential homes that we can possibly find,” said Porter. “There is an adoption process.”

Animal control says that every one of these cases is unique and that the owners are still under investigation.

If you’re interested in donating to Horse North Rescue, check out the group’s website here and a link to its Facebook page here.