More and more horses are being abandoned as the cost of hay and care continue to rise.
Two quarterhorses nicknamed 'Skinny' and 'Bones' are recovering from extended neglect...
"The mare particularly, has got backbone and hip bones showing." Explained Klamath Humane Society Large Animal Division Director Charlotte Barks. "I'd say her starvation level has been long-term."
Their condition has a big impact on those who love horses, such as caregiver Dawn Keen...
"It hits hard. Why... My question is always, 'why'..."
High costs are part of the answer.
Just a few years ago, quality hay was selling for around 160 dollars a ton in the Klamath Basin.
Horse owners on the Oregon coast are now paying up to 300 dollars a ton.
Barks notes that some horse owners just can't afford that...
"We're seeing more horses just abandoned. Abandoned up in the hills."
Helping 'Bones', the mare, won't be easy.
"This is going to take quite a while for them to come back." Noted Dawn Keen.
"It's going to take a lot of finance, and a lot of time - a lot of extra time." Added Charlotte Barks.
Keen notes there will be special care... "Mainly, loving care."
There are currently 19 horses up for adoption at the Large Animal Shelter on Miller Island Road.
Barks notes that they offer references, as well as rescues...
"If you have a horse, and you cannot find a home for it, if you cannot place it - I wish that you would please call us up so we could advise you as to some other possibilities."
Barks can be reached at (541) 891-7403. Keen can be reached at (541) 891-6240.
Those who can't adopt a horse can still help by making donations.
You can find out more online at: www.klamathlargeanimals.org
Dawn Keen notes that the rescues can be rewarding...
"That's why I'm here. Pretty soon, these guys will be running, bucking, kicking - putting a saddle on them. They'll be living like a horse. And that's the what the reward is."