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Malnourished Horses in Mansfield

Written By: Kellie Meyer

Reports of animal abuse in Mansfield sparked a WENY investigation. Kellie Meyer reports.

Malnourished Horses in Mansfield

March 6, 2014

MANSFIELD, PA (WENY) -- "Nine or ten years ago a friend had called me up and said, there's this lady with all these Arabian horses, and because I like Arabians, I went over to meet her."
     That's the voice of Brenda. She asked us not to use her last name or show her on camera. Brenda has been helping her friend take care of her 10 horses for years.
She says she slowly began to realize that those horses weren't being taken care of properly. 
     "One of the older stallions got so sick that he couldn't stand and I wanted him to be put down so he wasn't suffering, so she fought me on that and fought me on that," said Brenda.
    A farrier who saw the horses last year told WENY news that he helped provide care in November.
     "At that time there was a horse that needed regular foot care. The environment was rather run down and in a state of disrepair," said Darryl Kotz, a farrier and blacksmith out of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
     The dispute put a strain on Brenda and the owners relationship. She began visit less often, that is, until just two weeks ago.
     "Someone had called and told me that one of the horses was dead and that there was no water in the barn," Brenda said.
     She asked the owner to find the horses a new home. The owner, refused. State police went over last week to check on the horses welfare. They told me the horses looked ok to them and were being fed. 
     These, are pictures of the horses taken by Brenda. Brenda wasn't convinced.  So we went over to the barn to check things out for ourselves.
     The owner refused an on camera interview to allow us to show you her horses.
She says she's fully capable of taking care of them.
     Helen Smith at Sundance horse and rescue says they offered to take the horses off the owners' hands but she refused. Smith says the main problem from all of this is their lack of animal cruelty abuse centers. Tioga County doesn't have an animal welfare organization or humane society, making investigations like this one very difficult.
     Smith said, "we desperately need to have an authority figure who can help the rescues and the sanctuaries to stand up for the animals that we get the calls on it would make our job a lot easier."
     As for the horses still inside the barn. They are only three left now. Brenda and others promise they will continue to fight for their safety.
     "I just really want them to go somewhere where they are taken care of."
     We're still waiting for a report from the humane officer called in from Philadelphia. But according to a source, a veterinarian has gone by the property to check on the horses and the owner is supposedly close to letting them go.