Abandoned, neglected horses facing long wait at Animal Care Services

SAN ANTONIO – In the past year, Animal Care Services has taken in 27 abandoned or allegedly neglected and malnourished horses, eight alone in January. 

In January, ACS seized seven horses and a donkey from a property filled with rocks and construction along Old O'Connor Road. Investigators said the animals had an old wooden lean-to for shelter against the bitter cold that also froze the only water available.

An ACS spokeswoman said that case of alleged animal cruelty is still under review.

Gerryleah Zavala, ACS rescue foster supervisor, said it was the largest of the 27 equine seizures in the past year.

Zavala said part of the problem has been the cold winter months, making pastures harder to maintain.

But she also said living in Texas, many people want a horse without realizing the amount of work and money that goes into their care and feeding.

Zavala said, “We’re seeing a lot of people that are just opening their pasture gates. ‘Here, I hope someone finds you.’”

She said if that happens, horses can be a hazard to themselves and others since they can’t dodge traffic like dogs and cats can.

Zavala said she urges horse owners who are in a financial predicament and can no longer care for their animals to search the internet for qualified horse rescue groups in the state of Texas. She also said they should check with those fostering the horses to make sure they’re legitimate rescue groups.

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