Two horses are recovering after being rescued from what the MSPCA says is among the “worst conditions they ever seen” — including being trapped in manure inside their stalls.
The MSPCA at Nevens Farm said the two horses, rescued on Feb. 5, had to be dug out of their stalls at a Ludlow, Massachusetts home because the manure they were standing in had piled so high they could not exit the stalls.
The former owner of the horses, Nancy Golec of Ludlow, has been charged with four counts of felony animal cruelty, the organization said. She was arraigned this week at Palmer District Court.
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The organization said the manure was piled so high that the horses’ backs were pressed into the rafters, causing sores.
Roger Lauze, the equine rescue training manager at Nevins Farm, said it was the “worst case of neglect" he had ever seen.
“I’ve never seen anything like it," Lauze said. "When we got there, the thought that went through my head was looking at the barn they were in is, ‘How am I getting them out of the barn?'"
Both horses had overgrown teeth, with hind legs were caked in manure. Eleven-year-old Tia is underweight, an additional sign that she had been neglected for years.
"Tia’s hooves were twisted, which threw all the bone alignment off, and how she walks off, so we’re a little worried about her," Lauze said.
X-rays confirmed changes to the coffin bones of both of Shakira’s front hooves, but the staff are hopeful these changes will not further erode the quality of her life. “It really depends on the extent to which her hooves can be reshaped,” added Lauze.
“We’re going to do everything possible to help them live the rest of their lives without pain, but that will be determined by the degree to which we can reshape the hooves,” said Lauze.
Both horses will eventually be put up for adoption by the MSPCA.