Horses Taken from Rescue Farm
DUNNELLON - Eight horses have been taken from a rescue farm in Dunnellon.
Marion County officials said the horses were underweight, dehydrated and in need of dental work.
Tabatha Quijano is the President of Guardian Angels Horse Rescue.
She said she feeds the horses twice a day.
Quijano admits some of the horses are skinny, but she said there is a reason why.
"He had nothing but really bad ribs showing, but he doesn't have that anymore," Quijano said.
She said she can't believe the allegations that she is starving the horses.
"They took the two that have gone through traumatizing experiences and have been adopted return adopted return and then they say but you have had them for months, but I haven't," said Quijano.
She said she rescued one of the horses on Sept. 11.
She showed TV20 pictures of the horse the day it was put in her care. In the picture, horse has welts on its body.
Another horse was not eating due to depression from being separated from its family, said Quijana.
"Most of the cases that have to do with this have to do with private owners not horse rescues," said Marion County spokeswoman Elaine McClain.
McClain said the reason they seized the horses is because they are as much as 400 pounds underweight and their spines and hip bones are visible.
Some of the horses even have rain rots on them, said McClain, which happens when the horses aren't brushed or dried after it rains.
McClain said the county staff veterinarian determined a Paso Fino had to be euthanized because of its poor condition.
But Quijano says pictures prove that the horses got to the farm in worse condition.
"How many rolls of hay did you see outside? Nine still here not to much their obvious remains of several multiple rolls, so I don't think they are starving," Quijano said.
Jeremy Evans sells hay to Quijano.
"I don't think she is starving those horses," Evans said. "She has bought about 20 rolls of hay in the past two and a half weeks."
McClain said Quijano has not provided them with documents showing when the horses were rescued.
Quijano told me she doesn't want to release the paperwork because she is worried about her client's privacy.
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