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Horses being abandoned at alarming rate in Whatcom County, Washington

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On Wednesday, Jan. 8, KING 5 News reported that horses are being abandoned in Whatcom County, Wash. - and the local humane society's barn is full.

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Whatcom County Humane Society (WCHS), located in Bellingham, Wash., has been sheltering abandoned animals, fighting animal cruelty, and build compassionate and humane community for 110 years - but now they're at capacity for horses, and more horses still need help.

WCHS's stalls are full of horses who have been neglected, abused, and forgotten - but the animal rescue hopes to give these horses the second chance that they need.

"All these horses have been through a lot and they deserve a second chance," said Whatcom Humane Society Director Laura Clark.

In 2013 alone, WCHS took in 31 horses - as many as the previous two years combined.

"It's the worst I've ever seen it. They're everywhere," said caretaker Jesse Johnson.

"I just try to fix them. I don't like to think about the people behind it."

The horses arrive at WCHS because they're part of animal cruelty cases or they've been abandoned, left at auction, or dumped.

"We find strays walking down the road that people don't claim," said Clark. "It's absolutely heartbreaking."

With the economic downturn several years ago, overbreeding during a soft horse market, and the skyrocketing cost of feed, the outlook continues to be bleak for many horses.

"People think that pet overpopulation is just with cats and dogs," said Whatcom County Animal Control Officer Rebecca Crowley, who is currently working a handful of additional horse cases.

"But right now it certainly involves horses, too."

One of the horses at WCHS is named "Gandalf" - and this wise, gorgeous gray deserves a second chance. Gandalf was abandoned by his owner at a boarding facility and removed by animal control in October 2013. He's gentle, mellow, has good ground manners, and trailers very well.

Victims of animal cruelty cases need homes, as well.

Zeus, Gingersnap, Domino, and Snowflake were among 10 horses who were seized because they were left without food and water and did not have any shelter. Now all of these horses are looking for forever families.

Gingersnap is a five-month-old Appaloosa filly. Her mom, Poppy Seed, has done a great job raising her. Domino is a five-month-old Appaloosa colt whose dam is Snowflake.

The outlook for abandoned horses in Whatcom County is bleak. There is simply no more room for abandoned horses in Whatcom County: every animal rescue is full.

According to WCHS, it doesn't have the more than $20,000 a year to care for all of the horses. One rescued horse was in such poor condition that he recently had to be euthanized.

Would you like to help the Whatcom Humane Society continue to fight animal cruelty and rescue horses and other animals in need?

Please visit their website today to learn how to adopt an animal in need or make a donation.

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