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Starved horse in upstate SC dies only days after she was rescued

This is the photo taken from a concerned citizen and shared on Facebook
This is the photo taken from a concerned citizen and shared on Facebook

The Community Pet Project reported today that Barley, the severely malnourished horse rescued in late December, has died.

Barley has died only days after being rescued
Facebook: Big Oaks Rescue Farm


The story of Barley, who is only 2-years-old, is difficult to read. Last week a concerned animal lover posted the photo of a starved horse in the Hammett Road area of Welford Community in Spartanburg County. As has been the norm lately, animal advocates in the upstate began the task of rescuing this poor horse.

Spartanburg Animal Control Officer Patty Cobb was able to convince Barley's owners to release her to Big Oaks Rescue Farm, located in Greenwood. Barley's situation was touch and go for the past several days. On New Year's Eve it was reported Barley was standing and eating on her own.

The severe neglect Barley suffered at the hands of someone who was supposed to love her was just an issue she couldn't overcome, despite the expert care she was given after her rescue. On Friday, Joe Mann with Big Oaks issued the following statement

"We are so very sorry to report that Barley didn't make it. Early this morning she was alert and seemed to be better and we had almost removed the sling when she went down for the last time."

Mann went on to express his disgust with animal protection laws in South Carolina. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), South Carolina ranks 47th in the nation on animal protection laws.

Not only were Barley's former owners not charged with neglect, it's unlikely they will be unless something changes. One change Mann expressed his opinion on is to force lawmakers into creating tougher animal cruelty laws, or voting them out of office.

This isn't the only animal who has been starved recently. There are photos of several severely malnourished dogs now floating around on social media pages. Facebook played a major role recently in the case of a viral photo showing a "hanging dog" that was being lowered from a balcony to the ground in a harness. Greenville Police investigated that case, and the abuser was charged.

Unfortunately, most of the malnourished, starved and neglected animals in the upstate of South Carolina must suffer whatever fate befalls them from lack of care. Which brings me to ask one question: Just how starved does an animal have to be for it to be considered animal neglect? How can Animal Control representatives visit the home of a starved pet and do nothing?

I would appreciate an answer from anyone who knows the law.

Meanwhile, those who have followed the story of Barley, are grieving today. It's difficult to deal with the death of an animal after it's been rescued at death's door. Rest in peace, Barley. At least you knew love your last few days.

NOTE: Big Oaks Rescue Farm is in need of donations to continue their rescue work. A special account has been opened to receive donations/contributions at The County Bank in Greenwood, SC.

Please make checks, money orders etc. payable to Big Oaks Rescue Farm and mail to PO Box 49663, Greenwood, SC 29649. The rescue also has a PayPal account at

More on their rescue can be found on their Facebook page.

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