Restored to health, Arabians looking for new homes

Restored to health, Arabians looking for new homes
PUYALLUP, Wash. - The future is looking brighter for 47 horses found malnourished and in poor health last month on a Pierce County farm.

Their owner still faces potential animal cruelty charges, but some of her horses are now rehabilitated and up for adoption.

Last month, the Arabians were living in their own manure - in some cases three feet high in the stalls. Some animals were malnourished, while others needed medical care on a Roy area farm.

Their owner, Darlene Wilson, claims she hired someone to take care of her horses because her medical condition prevented her from doing so. She asked for, and got help from the Mormon Church.

But she says she couldn't afford to place the horses with a rescue facility

Ultimately, some of the horses were taken to Ripley's Horse Aid Foundation. And over the past several weeks, Wilson has given up custody of 13 of her Arabians to the foundation - and there may be more to come.

Tim Erickson says some of the horses have made great progress.

"When we first got him off the trailer and brought him here, we could not touch him," Erickson says of one horse. Now the same horse is playful and happy.

Other horses are showing signs of improving, too. Hooves have been repaired, and the matting on their sides is going away.

But the nonprofit Ripley's Foundation can't afford to house them forever.

"This is an unusual case because there are so many horses," says Rose Corey of Ripley's. "Generally it's one or two or three, but the owner of these horses did the right thing by relinquishing them so they could go to good homes."

But the care of horses is not cheap. For that reason, Wilson may give up the 27 horses she has left - and Ripley's needs to find good owners for the others.