A Howard County horse rescue is working overtime to help save some very sick horses.
Eighteen horses were rescued Thursday night by animal control. Many were brought to Days End Farm, rescue crew says some were close to death when they found them. Many are still fighting for their lives.
"To come in with this state of body condition, this many of them, is pretty unusual," said Executive Director, Erin Ochoa.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue assists animal control throughout the state with equine rescues.
"In our mission to support the local authorities and counties with their cases of equine neglect and abuse this is what we see," said Equine Programs Director, DeEtte Hillman.
The staff told ABC2, what they saw when they rescued the 18 horses was disturbing.
"The body condition scoring system goes from one-to-nine; one being the most emaciated that a horse can get where it's literally living off the very last bit of fat and muscle that the horse has," Ochoa said. "A healthy normal horse is somewhere in the four-to-five range most of the horses here today are within the one to two range."
Ochoa says there's no excuse for any owner to allow this kind of neglect.
"We live in a state where they can access getting help for these horses well before these horses get to this state," she said.
After the rescue happens, the hard road to recovery begins, including vet visits around the clock care.
"They'll begin a pretty intense re-feeding and rehabilitation program which could last anywhere from three to six months," Ochoa explained.
"Monitoring, grooming, veterinary care and oversight feeding, watering, grooming and all that goes into a wellness plan, a recovery plan," said Hillman.
That will cost the rescue $2,000 a month, per horse, for the next three months.
Very little information is available about the horses' owner at this time but Ochoa says charges are pending against them.