Two starving horses have been nursed back to health and are now up for sale.
On Saturday, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will have an auction for two neglected horses that have been under its care for the last six months.
The horses have been at ACSO’s animal impound recovering from severe malnutrition.
“(I’ve) done a lot of neglect investigations,” said Danny Buckley, an ACSO patrol deputy. “These three horses were probably the worst I’ve ever seen.”
Deputies discovered the horses after family members of the owner contacted them saying she died of a drug overdose. When they arrived at her home, they found three horses struggling to survive.
The third horse experienced the most neglect.
ACSO deputies said it couldn’t stand on its own, and veterinarians decided it was best to put it down. Deputies said the remaining two could have easily died too.
The owner would have most likely faced felony abuse charges if she were still alive, according to ACSO.
Deputies have focused on giving them a steady diet and a little kindness to get the horses where they should be. They feed them twice a day and work on building the horses’ trust.
“In the time that they’ve been here, they’ve shown a dramatic improvement in how they interact with people,” said Perry Koon, an ACSO rural service unit deputy. “It’s cost ACSO more than $1,400 to care for the horses.”
They hope to recover some of that cost at Saturday’s auction but said money won’t stop the two horses from getting a new home.
“We’re not looking for any specific amount of money,” said ACSO Sheriff Sadie Darnell. “If someone is just willing to take them and give them a good home, we’d be happy to make sure that happens.”
ACSO officials hope the horses are adopted, but if not, they’ll reach out to rescue groups to find them a home.
The rehab center was built in 2009 to handle cases in which large animals are abused.
The auction is at 9 a.m. at the Rural Services Animal Impound Lot in LaCrosse at 18903 NW 67th Blvd.