Story submitted by Sophia's Oasis for Rescues (S.O.F.E)
On February 26th 2016, Nattoway County Sheriff’s Department seized 42 horses and 15 dogs from Ravenswood horse farm for reports of abuse and neglect. Sadly, just months before 11 of those horses were part of another seizure at a farm in a neighboring county.
The condition the horses were found in was horrific. There were four (4) deceased horses and 1 deceased dog found in the fields with the remaining survivors who were all suffering from some degree of malnutrition and many of them were suffering from chemical burns on their backs, necks and ears due to undiluted cattle pesticide poured on them in a misguided effort to treat rain rot.
The horses were subsequently signed over to multiple humane organizations in Virginia including Central Virginia Horse Rescue. Two of the 19 horses Central Virginia Horse Rescue received were Naima and Pandora who were malnourished and suffered from significant neglect. They had chemicals burns over the majority of their body which resulted in giant open sores. Their sores were infected and covered in maggots. These mares along with the majority of the horses seized were in desperate need of veterinary care.
All of the horses received medical care and have recovered from their physical wounds. The chemical burns have left marks on the backs, necks and legs of the grey mares. While their hair grew back, they all have visible scars that resemble sweat patches where they were chemically burned.
As a result of the seizure, the owner of the farm was charged with 26 counts of animal cruelty, including 4 felony charges for the deceased animals found on the property. After a three day trial, the farm owner was found guilty of all 26 charges. She was sentenced to a year in jail and is no longer able to have animals in her possession.
In partnership with CVHR, SOFE took in both mares. Pandora is a 7 year old Arabian mare and Niama is and 11 year old Arabian mare. They both have overcome their fear of people. They spent their first year with us socializing with a new herd and with people. They also were seen by a massage therapist, farrier, dentist, vet, and chiropractor while establishing a training program for them.
Both Pandora and Niama have sweet dispositions but as Arabs they have each developed their own diva personality. They really like to show off when turned out in the fields. They both have big hearts and are quite flashy. They have not had an easy start in life, but they are willing and eager to please.
Pandora is very much an in-your-pocket girl and is always alert and investigating what you are doing. She is full of personality.
Niama is amazing and a pleasure to watch with her ground work. She has the build of a true Egyptian Arabian mare and doesn’t mind strutting her stuff.