FRANKLINTON, LA (WAFB) - Three starving horses have been rescued from a pasture in Franklinton thanks to the work of a Good Samaritan, social media, and law enforcement.
On Friday, May 19, Regina Ronan Milton passed a pasture on Star Creek Rd. in Franklinton and noticed three very thin horses. She took some pictures and then contacted several friends who have rescued horses in the past. After posting the picture online, one of her friends reportedly contacted the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office about the issue.
Soon thereafter, a coalition of equine rescue groups, concerned individuals, and humane societies formed. A plan was developed to rescue and rehabilitate the horses, who seemed to be in immediate danger of dying of starvation. It was determined the horses, two female Tennessee Walkers and a colt, needed medical treatment and needed to be placed under supervised, long-term care. The group says they waited until the sheriff's office finished its investigation before taking action.
On Monday, May 22, a deputy from the sheriff's office visited the property and determined the horses were being criminally neglected. The office then began the process of seizing and removing the horses. The group then quickly began working to rescue the horses. Many people came together to help the horses. An officer with the Killian Police Department offered his assistance during his time off, the Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue, located in Slidell, agreed to board the horses and provide long-term care for them. The Humane Society of Louisiana agreed to pay for their initial vet care as well.
The horses were taken to the ranch in Slidell and immediately started receiving round-the-clock care. A vet examined all the horses and began treatment. It was determined the horses belong to John Magee Jr., who left them on his elderly father's property and reportedly failed to provide them with sufficient care. A warrant for Magee's arrest is reportedly being prepared by the sheriff's office.
"Unfortunately, we see many, many cases like this. Some work and some don't. But because good-hearted people stopped and jumped in to help this family of three horses, we feel that they are going to be OK and make a full recovery. Everyone worked hard and fast to take action and now they are here with us at the Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue, and we will do everything in our power to get these babies back to good health," said Aubrey Stewart, founder and director of Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue.
"What we know from being in this business for close to 30 years, is that it takes alliances, partnerships, and collaborative efforts to save animals in need, and we could not have asked for better partners than those that came together to help these three horses, now affectionately known as the 'Franklinton Family of Three,' and we are excited to think that we can use this same coalition to respond to future animal abuse complaints," said Jeff Dorson, director of the Humane Society of Louisiana.
Those wishing to donate to the Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue can do so here.