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Colorado horse rescue sees increase in surrenders since pandemic

30 animals were seized from a property in Penrose in October 2022.
Posted at 10:15 PM, Oct 28, 2022

PENROSE — A property in Penrose is nearly bare after the Fremont County Sheriff's Officeseized 30 animals there earlier this week.

The sheriff's office issued a statement saying "Many of these animals were rescued from so-called “kill pens”.

"I think the hardest part of this is people are going to walk away from this with a bad taste for rescue," said Carrie Terroux-Barrett, the Executive Director of the Colorado Horse Rescue Network.

Terroux-Barrett has been involved in horse rescues for 10 years and says she is seeing cases like the one in Penrose come up more and more frequently.

"It's very sad, but it's become almost a common conversation in the rescue community ot hear that another organization, primarily feedlot based organizations has become overwhelmed," said Terroux-Barrett.

In his statement, Sheriff Allen Cooper said, "You are not doing these animals any justice if you rescue them and then do not have the staff or resources to adequately manage their pain, treat their injuries or provide the basics of food and water."

Over the summer in Douglas county, 80 neglected horses were seized.

The issue is not limited to animal rescues, owners are also surrendering their animals.

Terroux-Barrett says early on in the pandemic, her rescue saw a 30% increase in surrenders. Now, surrenders are up by 65% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

When asked if the current state of the economy might have anything to do with the rise in horses being surrendered, Terroux-Barrett said "absolutely".

"We had two years of covid... To go from that to a flailing economy, most of the people that have been contacting us to surrender are life long horse owners that just can't afford it anymore."

Terroux-Barrett encourages people to do their research and find the right rescue if they have to surrender, or choose to donate.
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