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20 Mar, 2010 05:43

Miami paradise for abandoned horses

When people struggle to provide for themselves, their animals often suffer first. That is why a few dedicated people in the US State of Florida are helping to save horses abandoned by their owners.

Last week, Lollipop gave birth to a foal. They may seem happy now, but the mother and son only narrowly avoided death. The pregnant mare was found abandoned with a fractured foot a fortnight ago.

Janet Jordan, President of South Florida SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), told RT, “They were neglected. They were not of a weight and condition we like to see horses in.”

Lollipop is not an exception. US laws forbid the slaughtering of horses for meat, so instead, their owners simply abandon them. And the problem is escalating. Some break into farms to find food. Others wander into traffic, or simply starve to death. The lucky few are saved.

“The way their owners treated them drives me crazy. I spend my money down to the last penny looking after my horses to keep them well,” says Dio Benitez, volunteer from the SPCA.

So far, it has been down to private organizations to resolve the problem. The local SPCA is an independent charity, and the bill for last month's feed exceeded $10,000.

“We are an organization that was established twenty years ago to look after fifteen horses at the time. Now, we are double, triple that amount, and it is causing us to really, really make an extraordinary effort,” noted Janet Jordan.

With more horses being brought in every week, those looking after them wonder if they will even have enough money to scrape by next month.