Community Helps Feed Neglected Animals

The Jackson County Animal Shelter employees say the community has really been reaching out and helping them this weekend. This help comes after animal control took away 18 horses and two llamas from a Vancleave woman last Wednesday. When the shelter took the animals in, they didn't have food or supplies, but they do now.

Just a few days ago these horses were barely strong enough to stand up.

"They were undernourished," said Bill Richman, the Director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

Undernourished--and on the brink of starvation.

When the shelter heard about the animals' condition, they knew they had to rescue them.

"Based on our investigation, we got a judge to sign an order of seizure for the animals to be picked up," said Richman.

But after the animals were picked up, the shelter realized there was another problem--they didn't have any food or the resources to house 18 horses and two llamas.

But after we ran a story on Thursday asking the community to help the animals, the shelter was overwhelmed with support.

"The phones have rung off the hook basically, and we've had lots of visitors come and check on the horses--people who want to foster them back to health... people who want to adopt them if it ever happens to get to that point where they can be," said Richman. "We've had donations of hay and feed and water troughs."

They've had so many donations that the shelter barely has a place to store them.

"We began to run a little tight on space to store," said Richman. "We asked some people to call us back mid to late week to see how our supplies are holding up."

So far, people in the community have donated close to three tons of feed and almost 40 barrels of hay.

"It reinforces the fact that there are more people than you can imagine who love animals and want to see them have the absolute best treatment that they can, which is why we're here," said Richman.

Authorities say animal owner Jeannie Houston of Vancleave was charged with one count of animal cruelty and neglect, which is a misdemenor, and is out on bond. She will appear in court Monday morning.