January 4, 2014

Essex County renews horse-care contracts

WESTPORT — A veterinarian working with the last seven horses seized by Essex County for alleged mistreatment says they’ve responded well to treatment and are in good health for adoption.

Essex County has just renewed its contracts for equine adoption and medical services as it tries to adopt out the remaining horses taken from a local farm last year.

The horses were removed from the Wing and a Prayer Farm in Essex after the Essex County Sheriff’s Department was called to the farm and allegedly found evidence the animals were not being fed properly or given adequate veterinary care.

The County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted this week to extend the contract with Crane Mountain Valley Horse Rescue Services in Westport for six months. It had expired in late December.

The contract is at no cost to the county.


Crane Mountain has been finding qualified individuals to adopt the horses, many of which were reported to be malnourished and suffering from various untreated ailments.

Veterinarian Dr. Diane Dodd has been working with the equines, and her contract was also extended.

The county had budgeted $5,000 for veterinary care and had gone over that, to $6,900, for the medical attention for the animals. Dodd receives $75 an hour for the horses’ care.


Dodd said Friday that she has six of the horses at her home in Westport, and one is at Crane Mountain.

“Four mares are pregnant. I have six I would like to be gone (to new homes). They’re getting trained. Their weights are all good. I would really like for them, especially the pregnant mares, to be adopted.

“I’ve been working with horse trainers, and they’re (the horses) taking saddles and bridles and that will make them ultimately much more adoptable.”

Volunteers are still working with the horses, and people are still donating supplies, Dodd said.

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