Horses recovering after major rescue in Spartanburg County

Thirty-five Arabian horses were seized from a property off Highway 221 in June 2022.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 6:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:35 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - It’s known as one of the biggest animal rescues in Spartanburg County history. Thirty-five Arabian horses were seized from a property off Highway 221 in June 2022.

Now, one year later, we’re getting a look into their recovery journey.

Equine rescues all across the state took in a number of horses, including Big Oaks Rescue, Long Ear Rescue, Hasty’s Haven, Hollow Creek, and Creekside Rescue.

Andrea Durham, the owner of Long Ear Rescue, took in three horses: Sam, Frank, and Dean. All three were starving, dehydrated, and clinging to life.

“For those first three months, we really just focused on feeding them, getting them healthy. Sam was days away from dying,” said Durham. “In the first 30 days, we also discovered that they all have EPM which is a neurological disease, and they get it by ingesting possum, dog or cat waste.”

Over the last year, the biggest obstacle they’ve faced is learning to trust again, she told FOX Carolina.

At Hasty’s Haven, Joann Kelly took in a mother-and-daughter pair, Journey and Crew.

“In their case, they had heart murmurs and different things they need to heal from,” she said. “Heart murmurs can become quite elevated from being starved. So we really had to give them time to heal and be horses so now, I think starting training and their handling is most important and has been the biggest challenge.”

She said although they have grown so much, they’re still in recovery, moving on to training and hopefully adoption by the end of the summer.

Kelly said for Journey and Crew, she hopes to keep them together.

“We will be very picky about where they go, who they wind up with,” she said. “That’s my hope, that they do get to stay together.”