Local rescue caring for dozens of horses and a donkey seized in abuse case

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WTVG) - An update to a story we've been following for the last month. A Lenawee County woman is facing jail time after more than 200 animals were seized from her property in December. Sharon Evans was back in court this morning

A number of rescue groups stepped up to care for the dogs, cats, horses, peacocks and donkey that were seized. We checked in with two of the rescues Wednesday.

The horses and the donkey were all brought to Starry Skies Equine Rescue earlier this week. Some are in worse shape than others, and for many the recovery process will likely takes months. Anna Mueller is the Assistant Director of the rescue,"Horses are my life. Since I was old enough to talk I have been talking about horses."

Like all the volunteers at the rescue, Anna has dedicated her life to helping horses in need, "It's really good to wake up and know you are making a difference. I can't imagine doing anything else."

And there is plenty to do at Starry Skies. In addition to dozens of other horses and donkeys being cared for at the all volunteer rescue, the newest horses in the herd require a lot of attention. Starry Skies founder Tricia Terry says many of the horses are slowly beginning to enjoy the attention, "They're starting to settle in and act like normal horses. They're getting used to being taken care of."

While many are settling in, Terry says a few others have yet to allow rescuers to even handle them, "We have some wonderful volunteers who have a lot of training experience. They will be working with the harder cases."

The horses were in foster care before coming to Starry Skies.Tricia says many of them have already made significant progress, but points out it's a slow process, "They are getting medium quality hay, a little at a time throughout the day. You have to get them used to the idea that they don;t have to gulp down their food, or fight for their food or water for that matter."

During a vet check Tuesday night, they learned that at least six of the mares are pregnant. That includes Emerald. Because of her age, Anna says she's a high risk pregnancy, "She's only 1-2 years old, she definitely should not be pregnant. She still has her baby teeth. We are raising money so she can potentially have a c-section. Unfortunately that procedure may not save the baby. We may only be able to save Emerald. We are certainly hoping however, that we are able to save them both. "

Saving Emerald and all the others means long hours, and heartache sometimes. Tricia and Anna say the success stories make it all worth it, "If we don't do it, who else is going to?.One of the hardest parts of what we do is saying goodbye when they go to their new homes, but that is what this is all about. We focus on finding the horses the perfect person to care for them. We wish there was not a need for what we do. Quite frankly, there is always another one coming in that needs our help."

The goal is to find homes for all the horses. When that happens will be decided on a case by case basis, Of course caring for all the horses and the donkey takes a lot of time and money. If you'd like to help Starry Skies Equine Rescue, we've posted a link.

In addition to the horses there were more than 200 other animals seized in this case. The Lenawee Humane Society is caring for 100 of the dogs and five cats.The dogs are all ages and sizes.
The breeds include German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Huskies, Corgis and a number of other small breeds.
Some of the dogs also had puppies.

The animals are now looking for new homes, and 47 of them have already been adopted. Taking care of the animals has been a big job, and many of them are still being treated for various medical conditions. Marcie Cornell is the Executive Director of the shelter,"It is a lot of work. It took lots of hands to lighten the load. All of the animals had parasites, worms and infections that had to be treated. We were able to treat them while the court case was going on, and many of them will go home with medication."

If you would like to help the humane society or the equine rescue group, we've posted links.

According to Cornell, the criminal case against Sharon Evans is moving forward. If she's convicted of animal cruelty, Evans faces up to four years behind bars.

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