The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office responded to call about starving horses who resorted to eating aluminum siding and fiberglass insulation to survive.

In a horrific scene on Friday, March 16, the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office responded to a call about dead and starving horses living at a local farm. The sheriff's office found over two dozen dead horses as well as malnourished horses wandering around the property. A dead foal was found just steps from the owner's home. "The siding — aluminum siding — was eaten off the house, and fiberglass insulation had been pulled out," Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis states. "Those horses were so hungry, they had broken the glass sliding doors on the back of the house, trying to get in and find something to eat. There's mud and broken glass all around the back of the house."
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="520"]Starving horses Courtesy of Delmarvanow[/caption]
Lewis and a humane society official went back to the property on Saturday to make sure the horses were getting proper nourishment. The scene was even worse that day. A mare was giving birth to a baby without any care or veterinary assistance. The foal was stuck in the birth canal and died before the mare could save her baby. While the sheriff could not help the poor mother, a cleanup and rescue crew were dispatched to the area. According to Maryland property records, the farm is owned by Clayton P. and Barbara L. Pilchard. Lewis states that Pilchard told him she found nothing wrong with leaving the horses carcasses to decay. In fact, Pilchard stated that she tried to nurture the baby horse when it was first born, but when it died she simply dragged it to her front steps and left the carcass there for the past two weeks. One neighbor said she knew the animals weren't regularly cared for but she believed that a shipment of food was brought to the farm every 10 days or so.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="605"]Starving horses Courtesy of 9NEWS[/caption]
This is not the Pilchard's first incident of animal neglect. Back in 1995, Barbara Pilchard was charged with 100 counts of animal neglect after over 200 cats were removed from her property. Since then, the Wicomico County Sheriff's department has been called to their property multiple times. Most of these incidents have been for loose horses but, at least once before, the Pilchard's have been investigated for animal cruelty against the horses. The sheriff's department had brought humane society officials and a equine expert out to the scene, but could not find sufficient evidence of animal neglect. Thankfully, the sheriff's office reports that all of the live horses will be seized from the owners. The horses had never received veterinary care and will be able to finally have the care and nourishment they need. The horses are now at Days End Farm Horse Rescue who will be caring for them as they rehabilitate from the trauma they have suffered. The fate of the Pilchard's is unknown at this point. An investigation into the dead and starving horses is currently ongoing.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="655"]Starving horses Courtesy of Days End Farm Horse Rescue[/caption]
People who would like to help these horses can donate to Days End Farm Horse Rescue. The group has already gained almost $5,000 in donations for the care of the starving horses. And any additional donations are needed to help them provide the starving horses with long term care. The rescue reports that the horses are settling into their new homes and are enjoying their warm beds and full stomachs. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and let's get the conversation started.

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