Malnourished Mango and her foal, Kiwi, were among 40 animals rescued from a property north of Vienna, Missouri, this week.
The Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force worked in co-operation with the Maries County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri Department of Agriculture in seizing the animals.
The society said a recently deceased horse and the carcasses of other animals were found on the property, in what it described as a heartbreaking day.
“Desperate, emaciated animals were everywhere,” president Kathy Warnick said. “For some, it was already too late.”
Mango, a white mare, was so thin that every rib and her hip bones were showing, Warnick said.
“Her sunken body was covered in rain rot; a skin infection that had become severe from lack of veterinary care.
“And Mango wasn’t alone. She had a foal, Kiwi, who was also starving. Too malnourished to produce milk, Mango was unable to care for her baby.”
Warnick said the pair were gently loaded on a rescue trailer and taken to Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, where they, and many of the other rescued animals, were receiving emergency veterinary care.
At its headquarters in St Louis City, adult and newborn beagles, terriers and great pyrenees are being treated for parasites, eye infections and malnutrition.
Warnick said if custody was ultimately awarded to the society, as many of the animals as possible would be made available for adoption.
In all, 40 animals were removed, including dogs, rabbits, horses and goats.
The Maries County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the situation after responding to a report of animal abuse at the property.
The humane society said many of the animals were severely underweight and have had little access to food, fresh water, adequate shelter or veterinary care.
The water that was available to the dogs was contaminated with urine and feces.
The animals were removed at the recommendation of a veterinarian from the state agriculture department.
Several goats, pigs, sheep and cattle remain on the property.
State agriculture officials have made recommendations to the owner about appropriate care of those animals.
A hearing is scheduled for October 2 in Vienna to determine custody of the seized animals.