The Maryland-based Days End Farm Horse Rescue's emergency rescue team deployed to Spokane, Wash., at the request of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Nov. 18 to help 63 malnourished horses seized by Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services Nov. 15.

The horses were seized from a property owner already facing multiple animal cruelty charges, according to information provided by Days End. The 63 horses had no water and only moldy food, the rescue group said, with 11 of the horses that were in critical condition were taken to a local veterinarian for immediate medical attention. The rest were moved to the Spokane County fairgrounds for rehabilitative care.

The ASPCA is assisting SCRAPS in sheltering, daily care, and financial support to help these animals. When they put out a request for experienced equine handlers, DEFHR was quick to respond, sending equine programs director DeEtte Gorrie and trainer Sara Strauss. Gorrie and Strauss are helping with monitoring the animals, feeding and mucking chores, and helping handle the semi-feral horses.

DEFHR is working alongside the ASPCA, Code 3 (based in Longmont, Colo.), Equine Emergency Rescue Unit (Overland Park, Kan.), and Washington State Animal Response Team (Enumclaw, Wash.) in caring for these horses.

"These nationwide partnerships really help with large impounds like these," said Erin Ochoa, DEFHR's executive director, in a release. "Our staff and volunteers have worked with ASPCA many times in recent years, including a 117-horse impound in Kansas in 2010-11 and 75 horses in New York in 2010. Without these partnerships, many horses wouldn't be alive today."

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