Neglected Horses Rescued From Fruitland

SPOKANE — Three malnourished horses from Stevens County are being nursed back to health in Spokane after being rescued by Spokanimal.

Investigators say the horses were found neglected in Fruitland in southern Stevens County in what Spokanimal says is one of the saddest cases of animal cruelty its ever seen.

The horses were rescued Wednesday, one of them so malnourished it had to be carried on to a horse trailer by rescuers.

“I believe four of us were able to lift her up onto her feet, and that should never be the case,” rescuer Denise Fairbank said.

Starved, underweight, and scared is how rescuers found the three horses Rocky Stallion, IB Spotless and Cinderella.

“It was the right thing to do,” Fairbank said. “I couldn’t not help.”

Spokanimal Executive Director Gail Mackie feels this situation could have been much worse.

“This appeared to be a cruelty situation of great magnitude,” Mackie said, adding that a fourth horse had been found dead.

The horses are slowly recovering at Spokane Sport Horse Farm after their rescue on Wednesday. All three were showing varying degrees of malnourishment with the worst off  being Cinderella, who should be weighing about 900 pounds but weighs only 450.

With the price of hay going up and winter just around the corner, Spokanimal worries more horses will be abused or abandoned.

“With hay being $200 or more a ton, I’m afraid that this is going to be a more common occurrence as the winter goes on,” Mackie said.

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this case but had few details on the matter Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile all three horses are adoptable but it will take some time to nurse them back to health. It costs $30 a day to take care of each animal so if you can help with any donations or if you’re interested in adopting any of these horses you can contact Gail Mackie at Spokanimal.