Several weeks ago there was public outcry about a horse located in East Prairie, Mo. Reports stated that the horse was “starving and had signs of being shot.” Several people said that they had made attempts to involve authorities but Weren't seeing any results. Reports had been made as far back as early 2014.
An article was published on Southeast Missouri Animal Welfare Examiner about the horse's condition and the lack of action being taken by authorities.. The following day a deputy from the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department contacted me and stated that the horse had been checked on in 2014 but nothing had ever become of the welfare check. He further stated, that there was currently a second investigation being conducted on the same horse. With the investigation ongoing he was unable to elaborate further.
A second article was published informing readers that authorities were indeed investigating and after several weeks had passed, I contacted the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department to find out the disposition of the case. I was told at that time that the horse had been rescued by one of its original owners, even before the investigation's conclusion, and was living safe and well in his new home. No further details were made available at that time, but a public announcement was said to be forthcoming from the department, however, no PSA was ever released on the horse.
Recently I was able to locate the horse’s rescuer and former owner, and found out that the horse named Joe is indeed doing well and on the mend.
As it turns out, Corey, one of Joe’s original owners, had seen the article about Joe and his plight on the Southeast Missouri Animal Welfare Examiner column.
“I knew it was Joe as soon as I saw the article,” said Corey. “I got the papers from my vet to confirm, got some additional information from the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department, and sure enough it was Joe.”
With the information provided in the article, Corey was able to locate Joe with the enlisted help of a local law enforcement; an official that had been a long-time family friend.
Joe was located at the Sprinkle’s residence just outside of East Prairie, Mo. Before approaching the property, Corey made inquiries with neighbors and found out that Sprinkles and his girlfriend were riding Joe daily although he was in such poor condition. According to neighbors, Joe had appeared thin for a very long time and never seemed to put on any weight. Several of the neighbors said they had reported the horse’s condition to authorities on multiple occasions.
When Corey arrived at the Sprinkles residence, she was sickened to see the condition Joe was in. She spoke with Sprinkles’ girlfriend and convinced her that Joe would be much better off if she could take him home with her. Corey assured Sprinkle’s girlfriend that she could provide the care that Joe needed to be the healthy and vibrant horse he once was. With Sprinkles away for the day, the girlfriend conceded, and Corey was able to take possession of Joe, with permission. Joe was then removed from the property and held nearby until Corey could get a trailer to transport him back to her farm.
Once back at the farm Corey examined Joe closer and noted he was malnourished and had considerable rain rot. There was no indication he had been shot but there were sores on his hips from his skin being stretched so thinly over his bones. Much of the hair was worn from his withers due to poor condition and daily riding by Sprinkles.
Corey immediately made an appointment with the vet and began a proper feeding regimen for Joe. He was even allowed to graze the yards of his new neighbors, enjoying all the tasty and nutrient-rich clover in abundance there.
Once at the vet it was discovered that Joe was not thin from simply being old or not being fed enough, he was full of worms. The veterinarian gave him a de-wormer, trimmed his hooves, and put him on other medications to improve Joe’s health. Joe would need to have several teeth pulled so a future appointment was made for him to have the extractions done.
It’s unknown how old Joe really is although Joe’s vet is quoted as saying, “very old, well over 20 years”.
Corey says Joe is a very calm boy and seems content these days. “Joe is great with the whole family and particularly fond of the kids. He shows us love and affection all the time; I know he remembers us. He actually bows his head for my four year old to love on him,” said Corey.
Corey says that Joe will live out his life in the pasture as a pet, not to be ridden by anything more than a child, and not until he is well enough.
“Joe has lived a long life and is now receiving the right care. He’s been to hell and back and deserves to live in comfort and he will do that here. He is in the pasture enjoying an endless supply of Bermuda hay,” said Corey. “It is funny to watch him eat because he does so with his eyes closed, like he is really enjoying it.”
Originally published on Examiner.com
July 14, 2015 8:02 PM MST
Author Gila Todd