After finding six abused horses this year, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office Equine Rescue Fund received $10,000 this week from a charitable organization to save them.
All of the rescued horses were severely neglected, with extreme injuries or malnourishment, according to county officials. One of the horses, a quarter horse named Ringo, was the latest rescue that required surgery, said Deputy Danie Huffman, a Parker County spokeswoman.
The grant is from the Anita Berry Martin Memorial Fund, established at the Community Foundation of North Texas in 2013.
Martin had a successful career in computer systems work before turning to Arabian horse breeding, Huffman said. Her enterprise, Greystone Arabians, worked with various Arabian horse organizations to support Cook Children’s Medical Center.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said he has owned horses in the past, and believes “we don’t have an animal problem — we have a people problem.”
“If you could see firsthand what we see when people neglect animals — it’s pretty disheartening. If you are going to own one, take care of it,” Fowler said Thursday.
The grant will help offset costs without taxpayer help, Fowler said.
Officers found Ringo in the road off FM 730 in Azle on Oct. 13. The horse, estimated at 10 to 12 years old, was with two other horses, Huffman said in a prepared statement.
“He was obviously neglected, the cut on his right back leg, (we believe was sustained by a fence accident), went at least two months without medical attention or treatment,” she said.
Local veterinarian Craig Sweatt performed surgery on Ringo and he is currently undergoing laser therapy several times a week to stimulate flesh growth around his injury, Huffman said.
The horse will need several months of care, she said.
The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of North Texas notified the sheriff’s office of the grant this week.
“Like many Parker County residents, Anita Berry Martin was devoted to horses and wide open spaces,” Nancy E. Jones, chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of North Texas, said in a prepared statement. “We are honored to keep her legacy alive through support of local land, wildlife conservation and equine programs.”