Rescue groups race to save starving horses in Louisiana

by | 01.24.2013 | 12:07pm

Volunteers from area horse rescue groups are racing against time to try and save dozens of emaciated horses that were surrendered by the owner of a breeding farm in Louisiana.

The horses have been placed under the care of the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association, which has teamed with Remember Me Rescue out of Texas to try and save the starving horses that had been located at Ryder River Ridge Farm in Natchitoches Parish.

Several attempts to check on the horses were made by both groups, but farm owner Clay Ryder refused to allow them on the property. Donna Keen, owner of Remember Me Rescue, took matters into her own hands and literally went over Ryder's head, renting a helicopter to fly over the property and take photographs of the horses.

What Keen photographed was heartbreaking – skeletal remains of dead horses and several shallow graves were visible. Horses that remained were obviously severely malnourished.

Ryder finally began negotiating with authorities earlier this month, and the remaining horses are in the process of being tranferred. Keen has offered to take those horses in, which number from 35 to more than 40, but said that getting any definitive answers has been “almost impossible.”

Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Department has refused to comment on the case, but did post a statement on the department's website stating that the investigation into the matter was ongoing, and that no further information would be released to the public.

Sunny Francois, volunteer director of the LHRA told the Shreveport Times, “What we want to come out of this is for people to understand without the cooperation of law enforcement there is so little to be done. We face this all over the state every day. People need to file the complaints, we will help,” said Francois. Rescue organizations can't be the “bad guys” exposing what's going on.”

“We need help.”

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