Horse rescuer starts petition amid rising animal cruelty cases - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Horse rescuer starts petition amid rising animal cruelty cases

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CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

A Clermont County horse rescuer is petitioning for a new investigator position to be created in the county due to the high number of cruelty cases there.

Kellie Sicurella with Fighting Chance Rescue, a 501c3 horse rescue, said that in the past year, they have taken in about 100 horses. Many of them were abused or neglected.

"Until you've actually seen a 1200 pound animal actually be 300 pounds, it's nothing you can put into words," Sicurella said.

The rescue was created in 2016 after they saved a horse named Chance. Sicurella said he spent the first two years of his life in a confined space with no shelter, no food or clean water and untreated injuries.

"He was fighting for his life every day," Sicurella said.

Fighting Chance rescuers took Chance in and tried to nurse him back to health. They even used a crane to lift him up when he was too weak to stand on his own. However, after only 14 days in their care, Sicurella said that Chance died from the years of neglect.

"He was dead. He couldn't fight anymore. He was so sick, and we did everything," Sicurella said. "We promised him that every horse that we came across, we would try to save, and that's the purpose of this place [this rescue]."

After dealing with dozens and dozens of cases similar to Chance's, Sicurella said she is fed up. Through an online petition, she is asking for a new position to be created in Clermont County - an investigator to check on livestock and horses following complaints.

She said they need someone who can legally take animals out of atrocious situations.

"I'm hoping that finally it can make a difference so we don't see all these animals coming in mistreated," Sarah Cinnair with Fighting Chance Rescue said.

Sicurella said that she is gaining signatures each day. When the petition is complete, she plans to take it to local leaders and perhaps to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to see if they can help. She said at the very least, it will start a conversation that could prevent another death.

"Neglect is not okay, and there needs to be somebody out there that has a voice for these animals that can't talk," Sicurella said.

According to Sicurella, there are local animal shelters who do try to help, but they typically only deal with pets like cats and dogs. She also said that the sheriff's office lends a hand and follows up on complaints, but has a lot of other things going on, so she feels a position focused on just this task in such a rural area would be a big relief.

You can view Sicurella's petition here.

To donate to Fighting Chance Rescue, to learn more about it or to find out how to volunteer or adopt horses, visit the rescue's Facebook page or website. The rescue currently has two horses available for adoption.

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