Severely underweight horses have a long road to recovery

Peaches and three other starving horses rescued from Princeton need to be rehabilitated before adoption.

Peaches and three other starving horses rescued from an owner in Princeton have a long road to recovery.

Peaches – the most malnourished horse – won’t be up for adoption for about eight months, said Joey Tompkins, president of BC Interior Horse Rescue¬†Society. The other three horses will be ready to go in about four months.

“I was scared they were going to be pregnant, but they weren’t. That would have been really bad for their bodies,” Tompkins said.

The horses were brought in severely underweight on Feb. 15, and were the most neglected the organization has ever seen.

Peaches weighs only 500 pounds – less than half of what she should. The other horses are in similar condition.

They are slowly gaining weight, and Tompkins hopes to completely rehabilitate them so they can go to new homes.

Babe, Jesse and Peaches like to be around people, but Torrie is more reserved, she said.

“She has a lot of mistrust of people. A lot of that is because she wants to protect herself”

Peaches’ body weight was rated 2/10 when the horses were surrendered to the rescue organization. A proper body weight is 5 or 6/10.

It will be a slow process to get Torrie to warm up to people, but Tompkins is hopeful.

“Today I fed her supplements, and she came up and walked with me. That’s a huge improvement compared to seven days ago.”

Horses aren’t fed for financial reasons, because of a divorce, lack of knowledge or because owners don’t care, Tompkins said.

Horses can remember abuse for a long time, especially if something triggers a memory, she said.

“People don’t give them the credit they deserve. They’re very smart.”

BC Interior Horse Rescue is at full capacity. The maximum number of horses the organization would like to have is 15, but they will be at that number this weekend when two more horses are dropped off.

Each horse is matched to a suitable home based on their personalities and how they’ve been trained.

“Hopefully it will be a forever home, with the right horse with the right person,” Tompkins said.

One horse has been with the rescue organization for two years because she still doesn’t completely trust people.

Donations to the BC Interior Horse Rescue Society can be made by credit card or PayPal on the organization’s website.