Tampa facility gives abused horses second chance - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa facility gives abused horses second chance

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

It's feeding time at Equestrian Inc. Equine Rescue and Jolie isn't holding back. She's digging in straight from the volunteer's hands.

"This horse has no reason to want to trust anyone or let anyone touch her," Glenda Smith said. "But they do. And they come back so strong."

Smith has run Equestrian Inc. for the last 30 years. Her mission, along with the other volunteers, is to provide a home for mistreated horses. Smith currently has 40 animals. Four of those, including Jolie, she got last week, after the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office saved them from an abusive home on a sandlot. Jolie's been underfed and has sores all over her coat.

"People might ask why we didn't just euthanize Jolie," Smith said. "We didn't because she had such a bright eye and the will to live. She has not refused anything we've offered her to eat."

Smith says she's seen horse abuse increase in Hillsborough County and blames the economy. A spokesperson with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says they don't keep statistics of how often they seize abused horses, but that they don't get a lot of calls.

Smith sees the abuse everyday though. She calls her job "heart wrenching" but says it's worth it.

"Horses are beautiful, majestic, creatures with a heart of gold."

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