Hillsborough Horse rescue trains with first responders - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough Horse rescue trains with first responders

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One of the animals at the shelter One of the animals at the shelter
Traumatic. That's how Lauren Dudley, President of Equestrian Inc., describes watching a neglected horse named Jolie, die. Sheriff's Deputies seized Jolie from an abusive owner. The horse lived at Equestrian Inc., in the Carrollwood area, before she died in May.

"We had a whole team working as hard as we could to bring her back to health," Dudley said. "We lost her in the end and it was very traumatic."

Related story: Tampa facility gives abused horses second chance

After Jolie passed, Dudley and the other volunteers at the horse rescue knew something had to change. Dudley contacted the Florida State Agriculture Response Team (SART), and together they organized a class for local first responders. Sheriff's Office employees, firefighters, and other rescue crew members showed up to learn how to save horses in an emergency.

"We really learned a lot about how to properly rescue these animals when they're in an emergency situation like when they're down and can't get up," Dudley said. "We were given tools and equipment to help better rescue these animals as well."

Dudley has confidence that the next time she needs help, she'll know who to call. Dudley says the Polk County Sheriff's Office is hosting an advanced horse rescue class in the spring.

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