Horse continues fighting for life after being rescued; possible other neglected horses still missing

On Sunday, July 10, an elderly horse, estimated to be anywhere from 20 to 30 years old, was found collapsed in Jones County.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - It’s hard to imagine why anyone would commit such a horrible crime, but animal neglect and abuse is something the Jones County Sheriff’s Department deals with daily.

On Sunday, July 10, an elderly horse, estimated to be anywhere from 20 to 30 years old, was found collapsed in Jones County.

“She had been down, actually, I think, for a couple of hours,” said Miranda Swilley, president of Homeward Horse & Hound of Mississippi. “Called a vet to have them come out, and we came and got the trailer and then went up there and started working on her.”

Now called Daisy, the horse was found severely dehydrated, overheated and malnourished.

Rescuers said she was barely alive.

“The vet arrived, and we talked to him to see if this was a situation that she could be saved,” Swilley said.

But, the mare wasn’t ready to give up. Neither was Homeward Horse & Hound Rescue.

“(The vet) said, ‘Let’s give it a shot, and so we did,” Swilley said. “The whole community came out. We had multiple tractors come to try and pick her up. People brought generators and fans to put on her to help her cool down because she was extremely overheated. It was really surprising to see how many people showed up for her.”

Daisy couldn’t get up on her own. But once she made it to the rescue, she began improving.

“It took an army to get her onto the trailer,” Swilley said. “And so, we got her up here. She actually went down again when she got here, but once we got her up, she spent a good two days up before she had to lay down to rest. And, she’s been improving ever since. She’s put on about 63 lbs in two weeks.”

According to JCSD Chief Deputy Mitch Sumrall, the man who surrendered the horse is not being charged with any crimes. He said this is because deputies believe the man bought Daisy in an effort to help her, and when deputies looked at the man’s other horses, they all looked healthy.

Unfortunately, it’s possible Daisy was with other horses in the same condition.

According to the sheriff’s department, the man who surrendered Daisy said she was with two other horses when he bought her.

“He said that there were two more horses that were just as bad of shape,” Sumrall said.

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department, along with the rescue center, went door to door in the Rawls Road area hoping to find out where the other horses were but came up empty-handed.

“We went down there to just about every residence on Rawls Road and couldn’t find the other two horses,” Sumrall said.

Now the department needs the Pine Belt’s help to save the other two horses.

“If the public has any information, they don’t have to give their name,” Sumrall said. “If they just call in, give us an address, we’ll be happy to go look. No animal deserves to be treated like that.”

If you have any information that could lead to the location of the other horses, you’re asked to call the Jones County Sheriff’s Department at 601-425-3147. Anonymous tips can also be made online.

For more information on Homeward Horse & Hound of Mississippi, including ways to help Daisy and other rescues, click here.

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