LAUREL HILL — A severely ill, dehydrated 17-year-old horse is under veterinary specialists' care after being discovered last week in Holt.
A Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences official was working with the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society on the case, Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center staffer Brittany Coplen said.
Both departments learned about the horse, named Justice by Safe Haven, early last week, PAWS Executive Director Dee Thompson said.
Thompson said she is unaware of any charges being filed against the original owner, who handed Justice over to Safe Haven on July 4.
“The veterinary reports were inconclusive of neglect of any kind,” she said.
The horse was relinquished on Friday to the Northwest Florida Animal Clinic in Milton for additional treatments. Justice returned to Safe Haven on Monday.
Veterinary specialists' tests confirmed the horse was not spreading illness to other horses at the Holt property.
“It’s not malnourished; it’s just very ill,” Thompson said.
PAWS is watching over the horse while he remains in Safe Haven's care in Laurel Hill, she said.
Due to the level of dehydration, specialists used an IV treatment on the horse, Coplen said.
“He wasn’t eating when he got here (at Safe Haven),” she said. “Now he is trying to eat and drink.”
Still, Justice has an uphill battle; veterinary specialists diagnosed liver failure, Coplen said.
Safe Haven director Jim Bryan said Justice has a 50/50 chance of surviving the illness as of this time. However he and his family are doing their best to help the horse recover to full health.
HOW TO HELP
Contact Safe Haven at 652-3350 to make donations toward Justice's recovery. Visit Safe Haven Horse Rescue Center's Facebook page, on.fb.me/1rJ0slv, to follow Justice's progress.