Pelham horse faces uncertain fate; owner can't afford fee
The owner of Rusty, a 21-year-old quarterhorse mix in Pelham, is unable to afford the surrender fee for an animal shelter and is looking for a new home for the animal. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
Ralph Barrett III said he can't afford the $600 "surrender fee" for 21-year-old Rusty at a nearby animal shelter, and must vacate his property by the end of the month.
"But this is a senior horse with a sensitive system. It can be very dangerous to mess with his diet, especially in the wintertime," Caprigno said.
Neighbors Pauline and Richard Aucoin, whose Leonard Drive driveway is just feet away from Rusty's corral, said they've grown increasingly concerned about the condition of the quarter horse mix.
Several neighbors said they were worried about Rusty being left outside most days, though he does have a small shelter inside his pen.
Fellow neighbors Robert and Kathleen Hayes have taken the matter a step further.
Robert Hayes said he and his wife have been purchasing hay and grain for Rusty.
Ideally, a private home would be the best thing for Rusty, Caprigno said, a place where the gentle creature can live out his days as a companion or light-riding horse.
"Unfortunately, in these economic times, there aren't many takers," Caprigno said.
Robert Hayes said he'll continue to keep Rusty in his prayers.
"I've seen a lot in my 54 years in this neighborhood, but this one just breaks my heart," he said. "And I fear time is running out for this horse."
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