POSTED: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 4:26pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 4:28pm
WEST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (NBC33) — It's a sight all too common across Louisiana, malnourished, neglected horses. But even with all the animal rescues and shelters. There is a huge demand for help large animals in need.
"Yes, this is probably a neglect case," said Dr. Elizabeth Morgan from the Audubon Animal Hospital in St. Francisville.
Smokey is a 900 pound horse, neglected and left alone by his owner, to ultimately die without car.
"I got a call about him a little over a week ago I rode by the address for about four days and I never saw him," said Equine Advocates of the Feliciana's founder, Tim Travis.
Last Tuesday, during the polar vortex that nearly froze over half our nation was the day Tim finally saw smokey in the flesh.
"Smokey was standing in ice water."
After rescuing horses for the past two years, Tim Travis knew he needed to step in and help. The first step was getting the horse medical attention.
"A lot of ties with neglected horses like this one is they are underweight their skin reveals a lot about the living conditions they have been kept in," noted Travis.
"When Tim found Smokey he was outside exposed to all of the elements such as rain and the cold temperature so he developed a skin disease called rain rot. It's something tim tells me a majority of the horses have when he rescues them."
The veterinarian says Smokey is a very well mannered horse, despite his health issues.
"The insides are moving like they should be," said Dr. Morgan.
"It's clear this horse has not received a lot of care from a Ferrier which is considered a very important part of horse health."
So the Ferrier got to business to help him on his road to recovery.
"He needs to put on several hundred pounds probably."
Since the word has gotten out about the Equine Advocates of the Feliciana's, people have been stepping up, opening their barns to these horse with no where togo.
"Smokey will be at a foster facility he will get everything he needs to get back to the health he needs to be in."
As another year passes, Travis just hopes what he's doing will only inspire others to not only help but to proactively prevent any more animals from a life of suffering and pain.
"Hopefully it will help make people realize if they can't afford an animal, especially a horse, then they don't need to have one."
Last month, The Equine Advocates  held a fundraiser to help raise over two thousand dollars for the horses. Since our story in October, Tim has saved at least a dozen horses and adopted out three of them.