A Pasco horse-rescue operation is asking the community for help after two thoroughbred geldings and six mares -- all emaciated and in need of rehabilitation -- were dropped off this week.
The "super skinny horses" are in the care of Spot-O-Faith Farm Horse Rescue, according to Linda Christiano, the nonprofit's director.
"I would like the community to know that No. 1, they're safe. These horses are in a safe place," she said, telling the Herald it's the worst case of malnourished horses she has seen in more than a year. "They obviously came in need of help, so that's what we do."
However, the organization could use donations of money, volunteer time and grain and feed to help the "skin and bones" horses get back to full health and ultimately adopted.
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"These will all be rehabbed and re-homed. It is not my goal to keep any of them," she said.
Christiano said she got a call Wednesday night about several neglected horses and was prepared Thursday morning when a man dropped them off at the 6204 W. Wernett Road farm. The man reportedly told Christiano they all came from one owner in Oregon, but she suspects otherwise.
Two of the horses have shoes. Christiano says that means they've been ridden recently, though the caretakers obviously didn't bother to feed the horses.
She also believes two of the mares are pregnant based on their big bellies, but was waiting for confirmation by a veterinarian.
Based on the international horse scoring system of one to 10, 10 being in top condition, Christiano said most of the rescued horses come in at two or three.
She said prayers are needed for one little white mare that scores a one, which "is as skinny as they get," Christiano said. "She's the one that worries me the most. She's like in intensive care. We're working with a veterinarian to make sure that they all survive the transition."
The rescue operation could use more volunteers to help feed each horse eight small meals a day of alfalfa hay and clean up the manure.
Accounts also have been set up at Yakima Federal Savings & Loan, with all branches accepting donations, and at Pasco's Columbia Grain and Feed, 2001 W. Lewis St.
Donations are tax deductible, Christiano said.
Spot-O-Faith Farm already scheduled a benefit barn dance and dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 20. Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under and $50 per family.
-- Christiano and Spot-O-Faith Farm can be reached at 509-845-7242, firstname.lastname@example.org and through the farm's Facebook page.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; email@example.com