Rescue group wants homes for starved horses

Starving horses need help

STEVE STOCKDALE/Special to the Sentinel
VENDLA STOCKDALE of Spirit Wind Horse Rescue in Crawford recently took in six starving horses. She says she hopes they’ll be adopted as soon as they gain enough weight.

When a horse breeding family in Delta publicized the fate of two dozen starving horses on their ranch last month, many people donated food and medicine, and now some of the animals are up for adoption.

Six of the horses have been taken in by Vendla Stockdale of Spirit Wind Horse Rescue in Crawford, and she’s trying to find them good homes.

Stockdale said she was appalled by the condition of the six horses now at her ranch, but she said most of them will make a full recovery after months of deprivation.

“I’ve had very thin horses come to me in the past, but when you see 24 horses pretty much at starvation level, it’s overwhelming,” she said.

A couple of older horses will stay with Stockdale or Spirit Wind horse trainer Danielle Kemper, she said, and the four younger horses will be ready for adoption in the spring.

But Stockdale would like to hear now from people interested in adopting the horses or anyone who would like to help with their upkeep.

She can be reached at 970-921-5599.

“Because they’re in such bad shape, it will take six months to put weight on them,” she said. “We always wait until they are completely healthy, and then we can gauge their disposition.”

Cathi Fredlund, daughter of horse breeders Marjorie and Alfred Fredlund, said the horses were underfed because her parents’ ranch is in bankruptcy, and the horses were considered property of the court and couldn’t be sold.

She said the family tried to convince the bankruptcy court last spring they didn’t have enough money to provide for the horses, but they didn’t bring it to the attention of the public until about a month ago.

“We stupidly did not cry for help soon enough,” she said.

Fredlund said the remaining 18 horses are still on her parents’ ranch, and donations of food and medicine, mostly from people from Grand Junction, are helping them keep up with their care.

She blames the bankruptcy on a deal that went bad for a gravel business on her parents’ land. The bankruptcy court only recently released the horses so they could be given new homes, she said.

Calls last week to U.S. Bankruptcy Court attorney Kevin Kubie were not immediately returned.
Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said deputy Allen Siddon helped place the six horses with Stockdale and is working with the Fredlunds to find homes for the rest while the bankruptcy plays out in the courts.

“There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on, but unfortunately, it’s the horses who suffered,” he said.


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