Emaciated horse with overgrown hooves rescued from barn

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is caring for Spicy, a Morgan horse that was rescued from a Francestown barn last week.

STRATHAM — A 17-year-old malnourished horse with overgrown hooves that officials believe was kept mostly in a manure-filled stall for the past year has been surrendered to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Morgan horse named Spicy was rescued from a barn in Francestown on Nov. 26 and is expected to recover after undergoing extensive rehabilitation over the next several months, according to Carrie Fyfe, the SPCA’s equine program manager.

Spicy’s owner agreed to surrender the horse after working with authorities, including the Francestown Police Department, to address concerns about the horse’s care and health.

Francestown police officer Fred Douglas said the owner was “extremely cooperative” and will not face criminal charges. He said the owner loved the horse, but wasn’t able to properly care for the animal.

“She did what was in the best interest of the horse,” Douglas said.

Fyfe said the SPCA was contacted by the Department of Agriculture about taking the horse following the surrender.

“She was living in a very small stall and had not been let out for quite some time,” Fyfe said, adding that it appeared the horse was rarely taken out of the stall over the past year.

Manure had built up and rescuers had a difficult time getting Spicy out of the stall, Fyfe said.

In addition to the overgrown hooves, which likely hadn’t been trimmed for a couple of years, Fyfe said Spicy was “significantly emaciated.”

“We’re taking it day by day with her. She’s in good spirits and we think over time her prognosis is quite good,” Fyfe said.

The cost of caring for Spicy will be significant as the horse likely won’t be able to be adopted until sometime next year, Fyfe said. “We’re looking at months of rehabilitation and getting her on the right track,” she said.

The SPCA is one of the few shelters that takes in horses and farm animals. The shelter featured Spicy in this week’s “Giving Tuesday” matching gift challenge campaign to raise money to help support its efforts.

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