Humane Society: Horses were abused

Published 5:57 am Friday, May 26, 2017

A good Samaritan, social media and teamwork led to the rescue of three starving horses in Washington Parish, according to the Humane Society of Louisiana.

Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, said that on Friday, May 19, Regina Ronan Milton passed a pasture on Star Creek Road in Franklinton, and noticed three very thin horses.

Dorson said that Milton stopped, took some photos of the horses and contacted several of her friends who have owned or rescued horses in the past. She also posted some of the pictures she took of the horses online and one of her friends contacted the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Soon, these two actions triggered a quick formation of a coalition of equine rescue groups, concerned individuals, and humane societies that quickly developed a game plan to rescue and save the horses, who appeared to be in imminent danger of dying from neglect, Dorson said. It was agreed that the horses — two female Tennessee Walkers and a colt — needed immediate medical treatment and to be placed under supervised long-term care, but they waited until the WPSO completed its investigation before taking any further action.

Dorson said that on Monday, Lt. Tom Anderson of the WPSO visited the property where the horses were housed and determined that the animals were being criminally neglected and began the process of seizing and removing the horses. Alysia Maloney, a friend of Hilton’s and an equine advocate, met Anderson on the scene and signed a warrant to legally remove the horses, Dorson said. Brian Binkley, an officer with the Killian Police Department, read about the plight of the starving horses online and offered to wrangle and transport the horses during his off-hours.

Aubrey Stewart and her team at the Wind Dancer Equine Rescue Ranch, located in Slidell, agreed to board and provide long-term care for the horses, which consist of a stud, mare and filly. The Humane Society of Louisiana agreed to pay for the initial veterinary care. As soon as the paperwork was signed by Maloney, Binkley placed the frail horses in his trailer and drove them to Stewart’s ranch, where they immediately started to receive around-the-clock care.

Dorson said that a veterinarian examined and treated all three horses Tuesday, and they have begun their long rehabilitation process.

At the same time, it was determined that the horses belonged to John Magee Jr., who left the horses on his elderly father’s property and failed to provide them with sufficient care, food or tend to their medical needs, Dorson said. A summons for Magee’s arrest was reportedly being prepared by the WPSO.

“Unfortunately, we see many, many cases like this,” Stewart said. “Some work and some don’t. But because good-hearted people stopped and jumped in to help this family of three horses, we feel that they are going to be OK and make a full recovery.

“Everyone worked hard and fast to take action and now they are here with us at the Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue, and we will do everything in our power to get these babies back to good health.”

Dorson credited the hard work of everyone in the horses’ rescue efforts.

“What we know from being in this business for close to 30 years, is that it takes alliances, partnerships and collaborative efforts to save animals in need, and we could not have asked for better partners than those that came together to help these three horses, now affectionately known as the ‘Franklinton Family of Three,’ and we are excited to think that we can use this same coalition to respond to future animal abuse complaints,” he said.

Those who wish to donate to the long-term care of the horses are encouraged to donate online to Wind Dancer Ranch Equine Rescue at