By Stefano DiPietrantonio SDiPietrantonio@fox19.com
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It was a horrible discovery in rural Kentucky. 11 dead horses and 48 others nearly starved to death.
The surviving horses were taken from their owner and bound for slaughter , until the group, "Speak-Up For Horses ", rescued them.
The now-rescued babies are only a few months old. They're one of ten lucky ones, born to mothers, who were nearly starved to death on a horse breeding farm that went belly-up.
"The officials went in back in April and found 11 dead horses," said Shelly Price with "Speak-Up For Horses".
48 more horses were found alive and pregnant.
"She (the horses former owner) was breeding registered quarter horses for the Kentucky Quarter Horse Incentive Fund Breeding Program," said Price.
Police say the farm's owner is facing 19 counts of animal neglect.
"The court ordered that they be immediately removed from the property and so they were bound for auction which the majority would have ended-up going to slaughter," Price said.
The horses are then sold in parts of Europe and Asia, where eating horse is considered a delicacy.
"A lot of people including Bracken Ridge County spent a lot of money on these horses to get them back in shape, because they've been feeding them since April."
So the horses are all healthy now and would have been desirable at auction for slaughter.
"Those are the ones they like to slaughter!", Price said.
So the horses have escaped starvation, they have escaped slaughter. The third time is a charm for the quarter horses, palominos and stallions.
One of the 48 horses that were rescued back in April was a "paint mare" and before she was rescued, the bones of this mare's spine could be seen pushing-up through her coat.
"Horses lose weight from the top of the back down so you could see all their spines were exposed, their hip bones were all exposed, their ribs," Price said.
The horses are friendly and came right up to our FOX 19 camera. Life is good these days.
"They're the victim in this whole mess and they deserve to have a good life," Price said.
The group, "Speak-Up For Horses", will be putting the animals up for adoption soon.
They still need to raise about a thousand more dollars in donations, to help pay for additional medical and transportation care. But, once candidates pass a screening process, each, of the horses will get a good, new home.
If you'd like more information on "Speak-Up For Horses" you can log-onto their website: www.speakupforhorses.org