Osceola County sees increase in neglected, abandoned horses



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A woman who runs a farm rescue in Osceola County said the county is seeing an increase in neglected and abandoned horses.

Cynthia Glasheen said she has rescued three horses within the past week, including a horse names Mercy.

"Her coat was just dull. She had no life in her eyes," said Glasheen.

Glasheen runs Witts End Farm Rescue and said every horse on the property was at one time neglected or abused.

Glasheen doesn’t advertise her rescue's location and said the animals are only brought in by law enforcement officers or animal services because in the past, people would tie animals up to her gate and leave them there.

"When Mercy came to the rescue, she was severely dehydrated," said Glasheen.

She said her operation has seen an increase in the number of neglected and abandoned animals. Osceola Animal Services officials said that last year alone, they took in nearly 20 horses.

While it may not seem like a lot, the care is costly, officials said.

"You have to worry about veterinary care and feed and hoof care and dental care," said Glasheen.

Glasheen said some of the horses she gets aren't just malnourished but pregnant, and their former owners just can't afford the care.

"The hay prices have gone up, the feed prices have gone up," she said. "People that had normally had a job that got 40 hours cut back to 20 hours."

The rescue said they met with county officials on Thursday to discuss grant opportunities because donations have been slow.

DONATION INFO: Witts End Farm Equine Rescue and Rehab Center Website  | Facebook Page