A blind and lame horse seized in Ohio was in the worst condition a welfare officer had seen in 14 years of cruelty investigations.
The mare was taken into care by officials with the Highland County Humane Society, with the assistance of the local sheriff’s office.
A search warrant was executed at a home in southwest Highland County to remove the underweight animal on Monday afternoon.
Cruelty investigator Brad Adams and a volunteer, Colin Haller, had responded to a complaint to the society about the condition of the horse.
“When we arrived … I saw its extreme state of emaciation and saw it standing using only three of its legs while it was holding its fourth one up due to an injury,” Adams said.
“The horse was also blind. The condition of this horse was the worst I’ve seen since I began doing animal cruelty investigations 14 years ago.”
Adams said he contacted the owner, who had left Ohio. The owner told him the horse was old.
The society’s shelter director, Melanie Dodson, said she was also shocked by the animal’s condition.
“She was standing in mud, manure and urine. My heart went out to this horse.”
Although injured, underweight, in pain, and blind and standing on three legs, Adams said the mare laid her head over Dodson’s shoulder and softly closed her eyes.
“It was like the horse felt the comfort of a human’s touch and knew help was there and that she wouldn’t have to feel any pain or suffering much longer,” he said.
The horse is now under veterinary care.
Further information will be released when the owner has been charged, Adams said.
The society is seeking help to care for the horse. Donations can be made online through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org using a credit/debit card or can be mailed to PO Box 471, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133.
The society is a private, nonprofit charity that operates its shelter east of Hillsboro.