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Local Horse Rescue Caring for Seized Horses

GALLATIN COUNTY, Ky. (Angenette Levy) -- A local horse rescue is helping care for 13 malnourished horses seized from a southern Indiana farm.

The rescue had 14 horses but one died after arriving at the rescue.  Robin Coots took in the horses at her Samira Farm & Spiritkeeper Equine Horse Rescue in Gallatin County. The horses feasted on donated hay at the farm Wednesday afternoon.
"Especially Medea back there. She eats quite a bit," Coots said about the horses appetite.

Coots and others moved 24 horses from Jeff Hayes's property in Dupont, Indiana over the weekend. Jefferson Co. sheriff's deputies said they found 90 malnourished horses on two properties without food and water. Eight horses were dead and five were found piled in a ravine.

"It was really heart wrenching. It was horribleIt was really worse when I got there," Coots said.

She said a frozen pond was the only source of water for the emaciated horses and neighbors had given the horses some hay.

Jeff Hayes is charged with a felony count of failure to dispose of a dead animal, cruelty to an animal and animals running at-large. Hayes denied the charges when interviewed by a Louisville TV station.

"My horses are not starving. It's just some people have a personal vendetta against me and they're trying to put me out of business," Hayes said.

He added that he fattens up some of the horses and sells their meat.

"Eventually, the meat goes overseas for people to eat."

In 2011, The U.S. Department of Agriculture determined Hayes was buying and selling livestock without the proper registration. The USDA also determined Hayes did not pay the full purchase price for livestock.
Hayes spoke to the Louisville station after posting bail. He was later arrested and charged with three counts of check deception.

Coots said many of the horses she helped move are with other foster families. She said they are quickly running out of hay and were grateful for a truckload that arrived Wednesday afternoon.

"It was a phenomenal help, a phenomenal help. That will get them through today and tomorrow," Coots said.

Neighbors and friends are also helping with the horses.

"I brought over some halters, lead ropes, body warmers and toe warmers," said Wende Askins.

Coots has named many of the horses. A large Belgian named Madea appears to be the leader of the herd. And, a smaller horse named Smiley seemed to enjoy resting in the field. Another named Hope appeared to be 250 lbs. underweight, according to Askins.

Coots enjoys caring for the horses but does not have enough room to house all of them along with her own horses. She is looking for people to help house them.

"We just need fosters that are going to take care of them on a temporary basis until this court case is over," Coots said.

Anyone interested in fostering a horse can contact Robin Coots. Her number is:  859. 992.1268

Deaton's Market in Warsaw is collecting donations for hay:  (859) 567-8800

Donations for veterinarian services can be made by calling River Valley Equine Services: 859.384.1396

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