Three horses with three-feet long hooves have been found at a US farm. Rescuers believe they had been left in their stables for 15 years without farrier or veterinary care.
The horses were discovered in stables piled high with three- to four-feet of manure at a farm in Washington County, Oregon, on Friday (21 August).
A miniature mare was put down at the farm due to ruptured ligaments causing irreparable fetlock dislocation.
The two other horses, 18-year-old stallion Quest and miniature mare Rio, could barely move as their hooves had grown so long.
Quest and Rio were also experiencing severe dental neglect.
“It’s the worst case we’ve seen in our 26-year history,” Caroline Robertson of Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) told local press.
“They could barely move without being at risk of getting tangled in their own hooves.”
The horses were found during a welfare inspection by the Humane Society of Washington County, which was checking on pet pigeons at the farm. It is standard practice for the society to check on all animals at a property.
DEFHR, which provides rehabilitation and care for 78 horses, aided the rescue of the three horses before taking them into its care.
The horses were sedated at the farm so that portions of their hooves could be removed so they could travel comfortably to the rescue centre.
On Monday (24 August) a vet and farrier took x-rays of Quest and Rio’s hooves. They said that it could take a year to get the horses’ hooves into good condition.
For more information on Days End Farm Horse Rescue visit: www.defhr.org