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October 31, 2013

Starving horses rescued from Derry garage

Malnourished newborn colt dies

DERRY — Five malnourished horses, including a newborn colt that later died, were removed from the garage of a local home because the owners could no longer care for them.

The New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is trying to nurse the emaciated equines back to health after they were rescued last week, according to Steve Sprowl.

Sprowl, the SPCA’s animal cruelty investigator, said a 5-year-old pony and her colt were taken from the home Oct. 23 after the organization was contacted by Derry Animal Control Officer Marlene Bishop.

The three other animals were surrendered voluntarily Friday after the newborn died Thursday morning, he said.

The owners, a couple whose names and address are not being released, kept the horses in a stall in their garage and did not provide a pasture. The animals were forced to graze on the front and back lawns, Sprowl said.

“These are just some poor people who got into a bad situation,” he said. “They are in the process of losing their home. They tried to take care of them. ... Both lost their jobs.”

Bishop said she couldn’t comment on the case and referred all questions to Derry police.

“It was pretty bad,” she said. “The animals are no longer at the residence, and that was the biggest concern.”

Bishop said she had been monitoring the horses for about a year after receiving a call from a concerned neighbor.

“It was just a case I’ve been keeping an eye on,” she said.

Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas could not be reached yesterday for comment, but Sprowl said no charges will be filed against the owners because they cooperated with authorities.

Sprowl said the owners did not realize the pony was pregnant until after it gave birth and was too malnourished to nurse the colt.

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