ZIMMERMAN, Minn. - The operator of a horse-rescue organization in Minnesota said the number of neglected horses needing care has gone up dramatically as the economy slows.
Drew Fitzpatrick is now caring for 90 horses at the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman. She told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press Thursday the economic downturn has been tough on horses bought when times were good.
Wade Hanson of the Humane Society said calls about neglected horses are running at 15 a month, while about 15 horses are dying needlessly a year. Both neglect cases and deaths have quadrupled, the report said. Hanson said many newly rich people bought spreads in the country and added horses without knowing much about them. "They thought they were going to be ranchers," he said.
"They are so clueless. I have talked to people who didn't think horses needed water in the wintertime, because they would just eat snow."
Some of the horse owners put stallions and mares in the same field, not realizing that would lead to more horses.
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