BENTON CITY, Wash. -- A Benton City family rescued a horse they say was left to die on the side of the road. The abuse and neglect have left the horse close to death. KEPR learned what's being done to find the owner responsible.
"I've just been calling her Baby...Pretty Little Baby," said the horse's rescuer, Kay Zirkel.
Kay couldn't believe it when she saw this horse standing on the side of the road Sunday. Abandoned, abused, and starved, experts say Pretty Baby is close to death.
"The condition she's in, took a very very long time to get there," Kay said.
The horse was just standing on State Route 225 waiting for an angel, like Kay, to come along. "And when I saw her, I choked up immediately, I have never in my life seen a horse in this kind of condition that has just been dumped on the side of the road."
Troopers were brought in to direct traffic while the animal could be loaded onto a trailer. The horse drank 16 gallons of water when it got to Kay's ranch.
Kay may have been shocked at the scenario, but a local horse rescue group isn't.
Spot-O-Faith Farm has rescued 25 horses dumped in the Tri-Cities in just the last year.
"Last year, in October, we had 8 horses dropped here, the guy says either you take 'em or I'm taking 'em to the desert to shoot them," said Spot-O-Faith Farm Director, Linda Christiano.
Rescuers say the fall and winter months are more common for dumping. People run low on hay and don't want the responsibility of caring for a horse in the cold. Kay has some words for whoever abandoned the sweet horse, "I truly hope that you suffer the pain she has suffered, you go hungry, as hungry as she has been, and you know the fear of what will come next like she has known, I truly believe what goes around comes around, and it's gonna come to you."
Between her displaced hip, brittle bones, and cracked hooves, the process likely took months.
"A bullet would have been kinder than what you've done to her," said Kay.
Troopers are investigating but hope you might recognize the horse and can help lead them to the former owner.