Horses are severely emaciated and suffering from serious medical conditions

BRADYVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 25, 2009) – United Animal Nations (UAN) has deployed volunteers with its Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) to care for 84 neglected horses rescued from a Cannon County property by The Humane Society of the United States and the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department. The horses were seized by the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department on November 24 due to signs of neglect and poor health. Rescuers also removed eight dogs, two goats and two chickens from the property. The animals were all in poor condition.

Distinguished by their red shirts, EARS volunteers are specially trained to care for animals at temporary shelters after they have been rescued from cruelty and neglect situations or displaced by natural disasters. Six EARS volunteers have traveled from Kentucky,Georgia and Tennessee to care for the rescued horses at a temporary shelter, and at least four more will arrive over the next week. Many of the volunteers are foregoing their Thanksgiving plans to help the horses.

EARS volunteers are caring for 84 neglected horses rescued in Tennessee on November 24.

“The UAN volunteers have not stopped working to get the incoming animals settled so their care and rehabilitation can begin,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. “It’s emotional to see so many in such poor condition, but we know they will be in a better place, so all of the hard work is worth it.”

“This rescue came not a moment too soon for the animals, including 84 horses struggling to survive,” said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at The HSUS. “There’s no excuse for starving or neglecting an animal. It is the responsibility of every horse owner to provide humane, responsible care for their horses at all stages of their life.”

When rescuers arrived on the 100-acre Bradyville property they found many Tennessee Walking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses, as well as quarter horses. Many of the horses were extremely emaciated and suffering from a variety of medical ailments including overgrown, infected hooves and parasite infestation. Rescuers also found several dead horses on the scene.

Local law enforcement was alerted to this critical situation by citizens concerned for the health of the horses. The sheriff’s department called in The HSUS to act as the lead animal welfare organization in the case. The HSUS then called in United Animal Nations to provide sheltering support and Volunteer Equine Advocates to assist in animal handling and transport. Invaluable assistance was also provided by officials from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, who provided a stable to be used as the emergency shelter.

Rescuers are removing all of the horses from the property and transporting them to the temporary shelter. Once the horses reach the shelter they will be checked by a team of veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical care. The horses will be cared for at the shelter until their custody is determined.

Watch this video of our emergency sheltering effort:

Horse owners who can no longer care for their horses have many humane options available to them:

  • Sell the horse to a properly vetted, private owner
  • Lease the horse to another horse enthusiast
  • Donate the horse to a therapeutic riding center, park police unit or similar program
  • Relinquish the horse to a horse rescue or sanctuary
  • Consider humane euthanasia

You can help UAN help the horses by donating to our Disaster Relief Fund.

Read more about this situation and see photos on our Emergency Response Blog.

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at


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