Two emaciated horses, who were allegedly locked up and neglected for 15 years, were rescued from deplorable living conditions.
The horses, described as a full-size stallion and miniature stallion, were removed from a Maryland stable and were taken to the Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) in Woodbine for critical and rehabilitative care, officials said.
The horses were discovered when a Good Samaritan called the Humane Society of Washington County with concerns about the welfare of pet pigeons.
While investigating the welfare of the pigeons, authorities discovered the horses in a stall piled high with four feet of manure, rescue staff said in a news release.
The horses had hooves over three-feet long, preventing them from walking without risk of getting tangled in their own hooves, the news release states.
A vet and farrier sedated the horses so that they could safely remove portions of their hooves before transporting them to the rehabilitative care facility, authorities said.
“Of the over 3,000 horses DEFHR has rescued in its 26-year-history, these are the worse, most extreme cases of horse neglect the organization has ever seen,” rescue staff said in the news release.
A third horse discovered on the property had to be euthanized due to “ruptured ligaments causing irreparable fetlock dislocation,” the press release states.
The investigation is ongoing and cruelty charges could be pending, authorities said.