Volunteers fought frigid temperatures and high snow drifts last week to remove 33 malnourished horses from their snow covered pasture just outside Wellpinit, Wash. A Bureau of Indian Affairs agent discovered the herd, which included several mares and foals, on Dec. 30, 2008. They were residing without adequate food or water, but severe weather prevented the horses' removal until Jan. 3.
The horses were removed from pastures outside Wellpirit, Wash.
The horses had body condition scores between 1 and 3, and some had neglected and damaged hooves said Carrie Aenk, operator of the Shepherds Way Rescue in nearby Springdale.
The horses' 75-year-old owner relinquished the herd to Aenk. But because the rescue is already crowded with horses, a local horse trainer volunteered to foster the herd.
"We're relying more and more on volunteers in these cases," said Aenk.
The horses need farrier and minor veterinary care, but are otherwise stable, said caretaker Pam Swiderski.
No charges have been filed against the horses' former owner.