Florence Co. reports more malnourished horses in this year - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Florence Co. reports more malnourished horses in this year

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) More horses are ending up in care facilities in Florence and most have been neglected and malnourished.

"The horse population is like the pet population. There is an overabundance, so much so they're going for almost nothing at an auction," said Jayne Boswell.

Jayne Boswell runs the Florence County Humane Society. Boswell said she has seen more neglected horses this year than she has in any of the past five years.

"I had no idea that we would see that many cases some of them…well all of them were pretty much neglected," said Boswell.

In 2012, Boswell only took in four neglected horses, so far this year she has taken in 20.

"Sometimes I think people take in horses and they really don't know how to care for them," said Boswell

"People, when they get horses they think they're easy to take care of like a cat or a dog, but they don't realize cost and effort that goes into taking care of such a large animal," said Dr. Adrienne Van Vlake.

It costs about $24,000 a year to care for a healthy horse. That number goes up if the horse gets sick.

"The most common problem is the horse doesn't have a big enough pasture so it doesn't have any grass to eat," said Dr. Van Vlake.

And it's that lack of nutrition that causes problems with the horse's hooves, teeth, back and bones.

"Our goal is to put these horses in good homes, so we are also looking for adopters to step forward," said Boswell.

That is the humane society's goal, but it's not always possible. The shelter says if a horse comes in too malnourished, it has to be euthanized and that's why it's important to get help before the horse gets too sick.

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