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MSPCA-Nevins Farm Takes In Herd Of Giant Draft Horses

Jul 08, 2017 07:51AM ● Published by Theresa Gilman

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by the MSPCA-Nevins Farm.)

Methuen, Mass. (7/5/17) – The MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen is the new temporary home for ten draft horses—giant equines that are as much as a foot taller than typical horses—surrendered from a property in Central Massachusetts on June 28 after their former owner was unable to care for them.

The horses were transported to Nevins Farm on June 28 after their owner surrendered them to MSPCA Law Enforcement officer Christine Allenberg, who had been working with the owner for months to secure veterinary care the animals needed.

“Some of them are underweight and some have teeth and hoof issues, but at the end of the day, the owner did the right thing, which was to accept that he could no longer meet their needs and to surrender them to our care,” said Officer Allenberg.

The animals range from seven to 28 years of age; nine of the horses are males—known as geldings—and there is one female, known as a mare. 

The Nevins Farm team has been settling the animals into new quarters on the farm, which in recent months has been inundated with farm animals—dozens of pigs, ducks, goats now housed in the horse barn, their populations spilling beyond their species-specific paddocks and shelters.  The arrival of the horses requires another shuffling of living quarters to ensure all animals are safe and comfortable.

Re-Feeding Program and Teeth, Hoof Care
“We see some ribs and spines showing on some of the horses, so getting everyone to a healthy weight and comfortably settling them is the priority at this early stage,” said Nevins Farm barn manager Gia Barss.  “We’ll also need to address some other concerns such as overgrown hooves and dental issues.”

All told the horses’ veterinary care may top $5,000.  The MSPCA has established a donation page for anyone who wishes to contribute to the horses’ veterinary care.  Readers can click www.mspca.org/drafthorses to donate in support of the horses and animals like them.

“We often take for granted just how many animals of various kinds have crossed our threshold over the decades and, thankfully, through the support of the public, we’re able to piece together the resources needed to see to their care,” added Barss.

Draft horses are often referred to as “heavy” horses and are distinguished by their height—some of them stand “19 hands high,” nearly a foot taller than standard equines—as well as their muscular build.  They were initially bred to pull plows, wagons and to carry heavy loads, and are often used today to pull carriages.

“Right now our goal is to get the horses well enough so that in the coming weeks we can place them into new homes,” said Barss. 

The MSPCA-Nevins Farm will announce in the weeks ahead the horses’ availability for adoption.

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