CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Deputies rescued four horses found starving in Lawrence County, now the humane society is working to nurse them back to health.
According to Andrew Turner with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, they found the horses "very underweight" and in need of food.
The Northeast Arkansas Humane Society has been collaborating with the department to get the horses relocated to Craighead County.
"The horses had no food, no water, and no shelter," said Margaret Shepherd, executive director. "Originally it was five horses but a colt didn't make it. They were all slowly starving to death."
Turner said they have been working this case for about two weeks. During that time they issued a warrant for misdemeanor animal cruelty to Joseph Larkin of Hoxie.
Shepherd said they were able to save the horses just in time for the cold weather.
"It was a couple of days before Christmas when we got the green light to remove the horses from the property," said Shepherd. "We rely heavily on our volunteers to get them to safety but we got them at the 11th hour. With these freezing temperatures we are seeing, they would not have been able to survive where they were."
She said now they are going to focus on getting the horses back healthy to withstand cold temperatures because currently, they do not have the body fat reserves to generate the body heat that they need.
"I am just really thankful for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office because, without their intervention, these horses would not get the help that they needed," said Shepherd.
The horses will undergo a rehabilitation process and will have several vet visits during the recovery, but she says they are still in need of donations to fund this process.
If you would like to donate hay or help pay for vet fees and transportation, contact the NEA Humane Society at 870-932-5185.
Larkin is set to appear in court Jan. 12.