SUMNER Co., Tenn. – In July, nearly two dozen horses were rescued from a farm in Warren County and the owner charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty.
Sumner County-based rescue group Volunteer Equine Associates took in some of the horses to nourish back to help but now, is in the need of help themselves.
Jamie Clifton is the rescue group’s chairman and helped rescue the horses three months ago.
In the beginning, Clifton said they thought they would receive about a dozen.
Instead, the number nearly doubled and the rescue group incurred $8,000 in expenses the first week.
“It is hitting us already this year. I don’t know if we will be able to help every county that asks us if we don’t get some money coming in,” Clifton explained.
To make matters worse, the group recently received more than a dozen horses from Giles County.
The vet bill for the first two days in that case was $1,000 and the rescue group has to pay it all.
“When the investigation starts, if they voluntarily give them up, then they are not responsible for any of the bills,” Clifton added.
With their busy season typically towards the end of year, Clifton worries they won’t be able to help everyone.
“It will be very hard to make that decision. It is so rewarding to see these animals come in skin and bones… and 10 weeks later, you can’t even recognize she is even the same horse,” Clifton said. “It will be heart breaking to have to turn away a situation like that.”