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Emaciated horses are causing concern in Elkhart County

Horses showing signs of starvation are causing concern for many in Elkhart County.

Farm owner and animal advocate, Melissa Kauffman is fed up and is sharing her frustrations only with ABC57. She says it’s a problem that’s been going on for months.

“Over the last couple months the horses have been declining rapidly in both weight and health,” says Kauffman.

She called the Elkhart County Humane Society after learning about a horse owner allegedly abusing and neglecting her animals. Kauffman says the humane society told her the owner was under investigation, but the next thing she was told came as a surprise.

“They’re trying to give her time to improve and I said, ‘Well how much time? Are you going to wait until they’re dead? Because they’re rapidly declining!’” says Kauffman.

ABC57 stopped by the RC Horse Rescue Center, about four miles away from Kauffman’s farm, but the owner of these horses you see here didn’t want to talk on camera.

Kauffman says it’s time that something’s done. “The problem is over the two years I have been monitoring her not a single horse has left her property in a better condition that it arrives.”

She says the humane society sent a vet out to see the horses to rate their condition. “She’s got several over there that they’re body scores are a two, which is extremely dangerous for the horse. It’s a lot of internal damage, not only what you see on the outside.”

Horses are rated using a system where the number one represents the animal being close to death.

“Your chances of recovery at a one are slim,” says Kauffman.

Kauffman adds the fact that these horses are living on a rescue farm isn’t helping them at all.

“Your job as a rescue is to take the horse in and provide care that improves the quality and condition of the horse. If you can’t do that you’re not a rescue.”

The county’s humane society couldn’t talk about this specific case but they say if a neighbor calls in a concern officials always follow up to see if an investigation is necessary.

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