GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A 10-year-old horse named Bella is one of the most recent additions to Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement.
An animal cruelty investigator in Stanley County contacted the rescue after finding Bella with scars all over her body, a blind eye, clipped ear and broken jaw. Now, Bella will need thousands of dollars’ worth of medical help and surgery.
“For a horse that has been through such a horrible past of abuse, I mean, her body is a picture. She is the sweetest horse you'll want to meet,” said Gin Wiltsey, of Safe Haven Equine Rescue and Retirement. “I sense, this is my own personal opinion, I sense this horse was intentionally hurt.”
Wiltsey says the rescue gets several calls a week about possible horse abuse and neglect cases. Unfortunately, even more go unreported. Wiltsey has a guess about why mistreatment of these animals is so prevalent in the community.
“A lot of it is a lack of education. But I think the economy is factor. Horses are not cheap,” said Wiltsey.
Wiltsey hopes sharing Bella’s story will open people’s eyes, and inspire them to contact local law enforcement or animal control when they see horses, and other livestock, in need.
“Just like the dogs and cats need a voice, the horses need a voice. They need a voice,” said Wiltsey. “It's an honor and privilege and blessing to serve these animals, it really truly is. But it takes a community to help them. It takes people to help them.”