As the equine hoarding case in Otsego County comes to a close, the new number of horses saved from almost certain death is 38. 6 of these horses are now in the Utica/Rome area.

Police discovered an awful secret over a month ago at a Romseboom farm. Stacie Haynes, director of the Susquehanna SPCA, reports that the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office and the Susquehanna SPCA were called to a farm for possible horse neglect. What they found was beyond stunning and heartbreaking.

The barn contained six to eight feet of manure inside stalls with horses that have NEVER been let outside. Most were wild, and all were starving, filled with parasites, and in feeble health. The Sherriffs initial visit, about 30 days ago, gave the owner 30 days to improve the situation. At that time, the owner willingly signed over a mare and foal as they both needed emergency medical attention.

Photo via Stacie Haynes, Executive Director of SQSPCA

A month later, to the day, the Sheriff's office Susquehanna SPCA was back to collect the horses that survived as carcasses were discovered. It took almost 2 days of round-the-clock work to round up the horses and get them stable enough to travel to the Otsego County Fairgrounds. From there, a large number of selfless volunteers went to work, making the wild horses as comfortable as possible with minimal supplies.

Haynes reported to us late Sunday, June 13, 2021, that all 38 horses have either been adopted or are now in foster care and are hopeful most survive, but several are extremely sick. Those who adopted the horses had to sign a contract stating they would pay for all vetting, get them altered, and not breed them.

7 of the horses with the worst health are on their way to a rescue in Poughkeepsie called 13 Hands. Donations are needed for their transportation so they can receive expert care and start the healing process.

Photo via Stacie Haynes, Executive Director of SQSPCA

Many of the rescued horses are on medication and receiving treatment daily for many health issues, including curled hooves, stunted growth, protruding ribs due to parasites, or possibly hay belly, which is a distended abdomen with protruding ribs and a lack of padding and muscles along the neck, withers, and haunches.

The owner of the horses is cooperating and has signed all horses over. There will be no criminal charges at this time. Professionals are reaching out and offering medical services to the female farmer.

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