Volunteers from Live and Let Live Farm in Chichester helped rescue more than 20 animals from a property in northern Littleton last week. Here, “Baby Clyde” receives TLC from one of the volunteers. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
November 28, 2012LITTLETON — Staff from the police department, the state veterinarian, and a horse rescue organization came to the aid of distressed animals in town last week. Horses, alpacas, and llamas were removed from a property in northern Littleton on Friday.
Most of the animals were brought to Littleton from Nevada. The rescued creatures suffer from malnourishment and various health problems.
Live and Let Live Farm took most of the animals to its location in Chichester. Executive Director Teresa Paradis praised the efforts of the community to assist in the effort. Paradis thanked the LPD for their assistance. The department, she said, is staffed by "a bunch of professional, animal caring officers."
The state veterinarian is part of the Division of Animal Industry. Cindy Heisler, a manager with the division, said that a local law enforcement agency must request the state's involvement in these types of cases. She said area residents had been "barraging our office with calls" about the problem in Littleton.
Heisler said that owner education is a key part of the state's work. In most cases, the owners voluntarily give up neglected animals in order to avoid possible prosecution. Animals can be seized from uncooperative owners, Heisler said.
The horses range in age from six months to 20 years old. LLLF volunteers took 16 of the animals to the farm on Friday. Neighbors took the rest of the animals.
Paradis said that some of the animals appear to lack adequate paperwork that would have authorized their transport into New Hampshire. From information gathered on the scene, the animals were brought to Littleton over the course of a few months.
The individual who brought the animals to town intended to purchase some property. The deal fell through, leaving the animals in limbo, Paradis said.
The animals were living in very difficult conditions. Paradis noted that some of the smaller horses had a hard time walking through the mucky ground that included a great deal of manure. Because of inadequate hoof care, several of the horses already had a difficult time walking.
Many of the rescued animals will require a lot of medical care. Paradis said that the animals have parasites from their filthy living conditions. Dental problems are additional concerns.
Most animal shelters are unable to take large animals, which increases the challenge for horse rescue organizations.
The tough economy increases the need to rescue horses, but also decreases the number of people able to adopt large animals. "Not a week goes by," Paradis said, "that we don't get calls about animals needing homes."
Paradis said that LLLF prefers to geld horses before they are adopted as a way to decrease the number of unwanted horses. She said that the cost of the procedure is usually about $500.
These types of rescues are very important to LLLF. However, caring for so many animals can be very expensive. Paradis noted that the farm already had over 50 horses. The cost of hay alone last year was about $60,000, she said.
Donations to care for rescued animals at LLLF can be made through the organization's website, www.liveandletlivefarm.org. Individuals can also mail donations to Live and Let Live Farm Rescue, 20 Paradise Lane, Chichester, NH 03258.