JONES, Okla. - Veterinarians that regularly treat rescue horses have examined the two horses surrendered by an Okmulgee County man over the weekend.
The surrendered paint and caramello have also been named: Allon, meaning "strong" for the paint and McKenzie Rae, meaning "hope for a new beginning" for the caramello.
Dr. Charlotte Kin and Dr. Amanda Wilson of Exclusively Equine Veterinary Services found that the horses have no serious underlying health issues, but that McKenzie Rae was a "cut-and-dried case of neglect and starvation," according to Natalee Cross of Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue in Jones..
She said Allon tested positive for worms, and that McKenzie was the worst case of starvation she's ever seen in a yearling. She said the filly had likely never had a meal since leaving its mother.
Natalee and her husband Shawn Cross have been rescuing horses since their own horse, Blaze, was injured in a wildfire in 2001. Their efforts to nurse Blaze to full recovery spawned a rescue that has saved more than 1,300 horses.
After a viewer told 2 Works for You she complained several times to the Okmulgee County sheriff about the horse, we went to work to find answers. We spoke with Sheriff Eddy Rice and resident Andrew Clark, who said he rescued the paint and caramello months earlier, already in poor condition.
Sheriff Eddy said he visited the land six times and found, "Conditions seemed somewhat fair."
A statement from a veterinarian by the name of Randall Jerry said Clark was "doing everything right."
The sheriff said,"The vet did say that he does not feel that it is neglect in any way, he believes that there are more disorders with these animals than on the surface," Sheriff Rice said.
Clark and the vet insist they did their best, but the 300-lb., skin-and-bones filly was aggressive, which made caring for them and examining them difficult.
Clark surrendered the two horses to Blaze's on Sunday. Volunteers loaded them into a trailer without incident and transported them approximately two hours to the rescue ranch. Natalee Cross says both horses have been eating and drinking normally ever since. She said they have seen no signs of aggression since they took custody of the horses.
Cross said McKenzie and Allon are about the same age - less than a year old. She said Allon is still thin but looks relatively healthier because herds typically have a dominant horse that's allowed to eat and drink first; then the others eat what's left. Cross said McKenzie would likely wait at the trough until Allon was finished, and no food was left for McKenzie.
Natalee says both horses will be quarantined for two weeks and the filly is in critical condition and probably will be for two weeks. She said once they are fully recovered, they will be adopted to an appropriate home.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.