Heat Overwhelms Horse Rescue Groups

Rescue groups see a record number of animals this summer

By Sara Story
|  Friday, Aug 12, 2011  |  Updated 5:47 PM CDT
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Many animal owners are neglecting their animals in the heat. Even Ranch Hand Rescue isn't insulated from the effects of the drought. The weather has taken a tragic toll on North Texas livestock.

Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

Many animal owners are neglecting their animals in the heat. Even Ranch Hand Rescue isn't insulated from the effects of the drought. The weather has taken a tragic toll on North Texas livestock.

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Horse rescue groups across the state have seen a record number of animals in critical condition because of the drought. Ranch Hand Rescue in Argyle is a safe haven for abused and neglected farm animals, and they said it's been extremely difficult to take care of all the animals this summer.

"What we are known for is taking the worst of the worst and bringing them back to health," said Ranch Hand Rescue founder Bob Williams.

Williams said the weather has taken a tragic toll on North Texas livestock.

"Not only are we seeing more critical care cases, but we are also getting calls from people just letting their animals go," said Williams.

Law enforcement and people turn to Ranch Hand Rescue when they find animals that have been abused. The animals that arrive at the rescue are usually in critical condition and need special care. This means more food, water, attention and money.

 "We've got a lot of surgeries and a lot of medical issues, and our biggest challenges is we have to run fans and misters 24 hours a day, seven days  a week," said Williams.

"The hay has been difficult just to find. Everyone is short on hay," said Ranch Hand Rescue employee Vance Eversole. "We've got no grass. Everything turned brown a month ago."

Rescue groups across the state are in need of donations, foster homes and people who want to adopt.

"We are not in panic mode yet, but it's a huge struggle," said Williams.

It's a struggle they hope doesn't hinder the help they give.
 

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