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Woman charged, horse recovering from abuse and neglect




HARDY, VA – A 24-year-old horse named Valentine is recovering in Hardy with help from Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue.


“This is definitely one of the worst horses that I have seen come in since I’ve been around,” Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue CFO Brandon Lovejoy said.


The horse rescue says it got a call from Henry County Animal Control to pick up a malnourished horse on Valentine’s Day.


“We originally had a concerned citizen actually send us a message. We then contacted the local authorities in Henry County; the animal control officers. They went and made a wellness check. When they got to her, they immediately did what they needed to do to be able to get her out of that situation,” Lovejoy explained.


Lovejoy says Valentine was about 300 pounds under weight, very weak and unsteady on her feet. This was due to around 6 months of little to no nutrition.


“Honestly, I don't know if she would have made it another day or two in her condition,” he stated.


Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue’s mission is to take in animals, rehab them, retrain them, and adopt them back out.


Over 20 years, they have rescued horses on a daily basis and currently have nearly 30 horses in their care.

“Believe it or not, she's in good shape. Her heart's good. There's no parasites, there's no diseases that has caused this. It is just from neglect and not being fed. That being said, it the kind of helps us feel that we are going to be able to help, we will be able to bring her back. It's a long road,” Lovejoy added.


The sheriff’s office says in this abuse/neglect case Jacole C. Hairston, 29, of Martinsville, has been charged with cruelty to animals and failing to care for an agricultural animal.


“It's just really annoying. It's kind of depressing that people that will let their animals get in this shape and then not try to get some help for them,” Lovejoy expressed. “Don't get me wrong, I would never want to give up my dogs or any of my animals, and it would be a hard decision to give them up if I couldn't take care of them. It comes down to you've got to make that decision because you can't just let an animal die because you can't afford to feed it.”


The rescue is always looking for donations and volunteers, for that information click here.

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