Malnourished horses prompt call for help, awareness

Four severely malnourished horses are under 24-hour care at a rehab facility in Kunia after their owners gave them up.

The horses were brought into Equine 808 Horse Rescue Hawaii in two separate cases on Oahu over the past two months because their owners couldn’t continue caring for them.

One of the horses is in such bad shape, experts say her prognosis is uncertain.

No criminal charges will be filed, but Equine 808’s executive director says the cases highlight the importance of early intervention when it comes to caring for animals.

“I would always recommend to people, if you start to find yourself figuring out ways to cut corners, if you’re finding ‘Oh, I can’t afford to have the trimmer come so I’ll wait a little while to have his feet done.’ When you’re starting to make those decisions, or ‘Maybe I can cut back on the food and it’ll still be okay,’ that’s the time to start looking for a new home for the horse,” said executive director Diane Cornish.

“It’s sad, but it’s happy because you have an opportunity to really help by keeping their stalls clean,” said volunteer Patti Gallagher-Jones. “And you think mucking a stall, but you get in there and the horse nuzzles up to you, it’s kind of nice.”

The facility is in need of donations of hay as well as money, and they’re looking for volunteers to care for the horses.

A volunteer orientation is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. at Kunia Loa Ridge Farm Land, Lot #21.

Visit Equine 808’s website or call (808) 590-1210 for more information.

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