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New life from abused mare spotlights horse foster care needs


Paul Scarpelli, Community Development - Animal Control
Phone: (360) 397-2375 ext. 4705

Vancouver, WA – A healthy, coal-black colt born late last week to a mare seized in one of the worst local abuse cases in recent memory shows the hard work of volunteers who serve as foster families for the Clark County Executive Horse Council Adopt-A-Horse program.

The spunky baby also renews hope that more residents will help care for neglected horses, either by taking one in or making a contribution to the local program.

The Executive Horse Council began the nonprofit foster care and adoption program to provide safe haven and new homes for horses that come into the county’s custody because of abuse or neglect.

The colt’s mother was taken to safety in August by Clark County Animal Protection and Control, removing her from what veterinarian Dr. Brian Johnson called “the most inhumane situation” he had seen in 34 years of practice. The colt’s birth at a hefty 95 pounds is considered something of a miracle by many familiar with the case.

The pregnant mare was among a group of extremely neglected horses discovered by an Animal Control officer. The mare and three others were placed at foster homes.

More recently at another property, Animal Control discovered one deceased and three severely ill horses and a badly dehydrated pony. The three horses were seized because they were in life-threatening circumstances. The owner later relinquished the pony, which will soon deliver a foal.

A neglected horse can take months to rehabilitate. All volunteers, Executive Horse Council members who serve as foster families feed, house, groom, transport, train and supervise the needy animals.

Encouraged by the colt’s birth, Animal Control and the Executive Horse Council remind residents they can provide community support and resources to help offset the cost of caring for horses rescued from neglect or abuse. Like the new foal, each horse requires food, veterinary care, shoes and training.

The Clark County Executive Horse Council Adopt-A-Horse program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Contributions are tax deductible.

To become a foster family or make a donation, contact Paul Scarpelli, Animal Control manager, at (360) 397-2375 ext. 4705.

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