JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County Animal Shelter has a new resident - a 14 to 15-year-old mare found off Kings Road in the Helena Community. Workers say when the mare first arrived earlier this week, she was in bad shape.
While their first priority is restoring her health, officials also want to figure out who her owner is and whether that person has more animals in the same condition.
"The horse was under weight. She is very friendly, so she's had some human interaction," said Director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter Joseph Barlow.
Jackson County Animal Control Officer Charlie Callegan learned about the horse following a post on Facebook.
"She was up close to the road. So I just got out of the truck and got a little food and she come up to me and I put a halter on her until I got a trailer there," said Callegan.
When the horse arrived at the shelter's barn, the shelter veterinarian immediately noticed she was seriously malnourished. She also has arthritis and skeletal issues. In an effort to restore her health, the horse is on a special diet to gain weight.
"In fact she's already gained weight. She's already looking better. Just a little bit of attention goes a long way sometimes. So having a roof over her head and having consistent meals will turn her around in no time," said Barlow.
Now Barlow said he has some serious questions for the owner.
"I'd like to know a couple things. One, how did this horse get in this condition and the second thing I'd like to know is, do you have more animals on your property that we need to take a look at? We don't like to put up with animal neglect, but sometimes people have legitimate reasons. Maybe there's something going on that we don't know about, maybe there isn't," Barlow said.
If the horse's owner doesn't come forward in 30 days to claim her, she will be put up for adoption.
The shelter is in need of help for the horse and another one in their care. Right now they need hay, horse feed, and horse fly spray. If you'd like to donate, call 228-497-6350.
If you are interested in adopting the horse, the fee is $100 and the shelter will have to check your property to ensure you have the right facility to care for it.