'He's definitely extremely thin' Local rescue estimates few months for malnourished horse's recovery

The horse, whose name is Blaze, was also suffering from hair loss, skin issues and a poor diet.

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 10:54 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's a full house at the Horse Shoe Equine Rescue.

Among the fun-loving group of furry faces, just recently, the full house became bigger.

"We actually weren't taking anything at the time," said Director Ron Barnett.

However, Barnett made an exception on Sunday. That's after receiving a call from the state veterinarian to take in a horse from Sullivan County.

Earlier that morning, police responded to a call about a horse walking down a county road. Concerns of the horse's frail frame led them to call state authorities, ultimately placing the horse in Barnett's care for treatment.

"The vet scored him at a one, on a one to eight scale is the horse scale," said Barnett, "Eight being obese and one being extremely thin, he's a one. He's definitely extremely thin."

The horse, whose name is Blaze, was also suffering from hair loss, skin issues, and a poor diet. Barnett said he's not sure of the circumstances that led to his condition, but from his observation, it looks to be lack of access to food and proper nutrition. 

"He doesn't have much of a coat left," said Barnett, "He's pretty well malnourished. What he has been eating hasn't been good grass or good hay."

Barnett told News 10 it's around the fall season that they start to get calls about taking animals, like Blaze, in.

"When the leaves start falling off of the trees, that's when people notice the thin horses that are back that they couldn't see from the road previously," he said, "and they'll see them back in there and notice how thin they are, and that's when we get a call, or the state gets a call, or somebody gets a call and we end up getting those horses."

"Then, we have to have them all winter to get them back up to health," he added, "That's the worst time for them, it's the hardest time in the cold and everything. So it's kind of a rough road for them."

Barnett said it will take a few months for Blaze to get his weight back. Since he is an older horse, Barnett said it could take anywhere from a couple of months or possibly four to five months. 

In the meantime, Blaze will be put on a special diet and eating several times a day.

"He's gained a few pounds," said Barnett, "We can tell he's got a little bit of a belly on him already."

As far as getting along with the rest of the crowd, Barnett said Blaze is doing just fine with his new roommates at the rescue. 

As police wait to hear from the state vet to find out if neglect charges need to be filed, Barnett and his team will be focusing on Blaze's health and helping him along the road to recovery.

Barnett said the cost of Blaze's care could cost around $400-$500, that's not including follow up visits to the vet or further treatment. 

The rescue is accepting donations. If you'd like to help you can visit the Horse Shoe Equine Rescue Facebook Page, their website or you can call them at 812-841-6916.

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