The Martin County sheriff wants to find a new home for a horse rescue facility that is being forced to move.
Sheriff William Snyder has scheduled a news conference tomorrow to highlight the situation of the Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation in Palm City, which recently took in 11 animals rescued by the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff doesn’t describe himself as an animal lover, but he wants to do something to prevent future rescued animals from being killed.
“I don’t want to see a situation where we have to euthanize animals because we don’t have a rescue facility,” he said Sunday.
The foundation has until November 2014, to move, President Randy Kinder said. For the past eight years, the foundation has been using land owned by the Pegasus Foundation, a nonprofit that helps animal-based charities. Several organizations are on the land.
Kinder said they have plenty of time to look for a new place, and Pegasus is helping them. They need between 15 and 20 acres.
She is grateful for the sheriff’s support. Most of the foundation’s rescue animals come from the sheriff’s office, Kinder said.
Earlier this month, deputies rescued seven horses and four donkeys from a Palm City ranch. The owner was “in over his head,” Snyder said, and the animals were severely malnourished.
Instead of waiting to get a warrant or a court order to retrieve the animals, the sheriff’s office struck a deal with the animals’ owner: give up them immediately and don’t face criminal charges.
The emaciated animals were taken to the rescue facility, which suddenly found its resources stretched to the limit, Kinder said.
“They’ve never seen a veterinarian,” she said of the rescued animals. “For all intents and purposes, when we got them, they were feral. It’s like trying to pick up a wild cat in the woods.”
The horses now are recovering. Snyder said the owner is helping to pay for their care.
The sheriff wants to put a face on the problem.
“This is not their problem. This is not the sheriff’s problem. This is the community’s problem,” Snyder said. “Is there a person out there with land for horses who’s willing to step up?”
The news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the rescue facility, 6452 S. W. Markel St., Palm City.