More than 20 horses rescued from illegal slaughter farm in S. Florida

Did you see this?

BELL, Fla. (WCJB) — Over 20 horses have been rescued from an illegal slaughtering farm in South Florida by a local rescue operation.

According to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, a complaint saying a horse was quote “in distress” and couldn’t get up as well as buzzards and horse bones scattered across the ground had led to deputies investigating the property owned by the suspect Manuel Coto.

There they found 24 horses, one of which was the horse that led to the initial complaint which had to be euthanized on-site.

All of the horses were malnourished and showed signs of having some type of parasite.

After being cared for by the deputies for over a month, they were signed over to Horses Without Humans in Bell.

They say that while they are happy and ready to take these horses in, their work is far from over.

“Our process here is going to be pretty big because we’ve got to separate them one at a time, and get a hand on them, try to get them haltered . . . so we can have a safe and happy place,” said Yvonne Barteau, the founder of Horses Without Humans. “So the work is really just starting here.”

While the investigation is ongoing, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office says they will “continue to pursue charges and proceedings against the person(s) responsible for this abuse.”

Can you help?

Barteau says that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are short on volunteers that they’ll need to get these horses back to full health.

“We’re probably going to need an average of one to two volunteers per horse to get this working out and to get these horses socialized,” Barteau explained. “We don’t mind if the volunteers don’t come near us, they just have to be willing to come and be around a horse or help in feeding, caring, and helping the horses get used to being around people and that they bring food…and that people can talk to them and pet them. So we’re hoping that volunteers pick-up a bit.”

To learn more about how to volunteer, contact, or donate to Horses Without Humans, click here to go to their website.

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Starving horse becomes safe and happy

First Taste of Freedom

This horse was so hungry that she stuck her head in an electric fence looking for food. But now she’s gotten plenty to eat and feels like a whole new horse. Today she’s about to find out she has a whole field of grass to run in!

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Blind horse finds way back home

By DON SERGENT | The Daily News | Mar 1, 2020

BOWLING GREEN — It might have been the most satisfying whinny Catherine Limkeman had ever heard from Declan, the horse she transported from Ozark, Ill., to Warren County’s Rainhill Equine Facility.

After she led Declan — a 12-year-old thoroughbred/quarter horse mix — on a muddy walk from the horse trailer he had ridden in for three hours, Limkeman watched as he settled into the Starfire stall of the Rainhill facility’s barn.

When the high-pitched whinnying started, Limkeman knew she had made the right choice in bringing Declan from the Camp Ondessonk youth retreat that had been his home for seven years and relocating him to the 185-acre facility in the Anna community.

Emelyn Herndon, Ondessonk’s assistant equestrian director, also accompanied Declan on his trip and explained that the increased liability of having a blind horse at the camp led Limkeman on a mostly futile search for a new home.

“We reached out to people within our (equestrian) community across four states,” Herndon said. “But they just don’t have the ability to take horses that are vision-impaired.”

As a result, “probably 85 percent” of such horses end up going to slaughter, according to Auburn resident and longtime Rainhill supporter Lisa Salmon.

Rainhill, started in 1984 by Karen Thurman as a for-profit business providing riding lessons and boarding horses, has since 2005 been a nonprofit dedicated to providing shelter to abused and neglected horses.

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The woman who has saved 500 horses from slaughter

One of the 500 horses rescued by Freedom Reins.

Here’s How She Did It


We live in a world where animals do not have a voice. It is our job to help them. Often times, we are their saviors from certain death. For one woman living in California, she wanted to do something for unwanted horses that were being sold for slaughter. It’s a scary fact, but in 2017 alone, around 80,000 American horses were shipped out of the country to be slaughtered.

Alicia Goetz couldn’t bear to know that horses were being sent to early graves. So she embarked on a mission to change that. How did she do it? Well, she decided she would do whatever it took to open her own sanctuary to save horses from slaughter. And we’re not talking about a few. She has nearly 500 now.

“This is what I have to do… I am a firm believer in that. It was what I was meant to do.” — Alicia Goetz

Quietly over six years ago, Goetz went to work building what is now known as Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary. In San Benito County just southeast of San Jose, she has 493 rescued equines living on the 4,000-acre property. And I rounded it up to 500 because she told the news channel last week that she had 10 more arriving this week!


Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary 2018

Full article at» Learn more about Freedom Reigns »