Ann Arbor, MI (March 6, 2015) – Following a call from local animal control Thursday night, the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) picked up a lifeless foal who had been discarded at the side of the road on Bemis and Platt in Pittsfield Township.

“At this point, we’re not sure what the foal died from,” says Michele Baxter, HSHV’s Animal Cruelty and Rescue Manager. “His little body is very thin.” The HSHV will be sending the remains out for a necropsy to help determine cause of death.

The HSHV veterinarian who regretfully performed the initial exam of the animal indicated he was “very, very young—probably not even two weeks of age” and believes he could be a Standardbred racing horse.

The HSHV suspects the foal has been dead for a few days, and, at minimum was not handled in accordance with Michigan lawregarding proper disposal of deceased animals.

“It always fills us with sorrow when animals are callously discarded like this,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, CEO and President of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. “We can only hope this innocent young horse didn’t needlessly suffer.”

Baxter reports that horse and other farm animal cruelty cases in the area have increased over the past several years. The Humane Society of Huron Valley and other animal welfare organizations in the nation struggle to cope with abuse, abandonment and neglect of the estimated 100,000 “unwanted horses” in the US every year, worsened by horse racing industry which continues to breed horses. The American Association of Equine Practitioners estimates that the cost for an individual to care for a horse, including veterinary, farrier and boarding expenses is $5,000 per year. The American Society of Animal Science has estimated that sanctuaries and rescues such as HSHV spend an average of $3,648 per year on the rescue and care of a relinquished horse.

“Having rescued numerous horses over the past years, we understand they’re expensive,” Baxter says. “But people need to come forward to get help. There are many people in our community who care.”

Anyone with information on the circumstances surrounding the discarded foal or other possible animal cruelty situations are asked to call the Humane Society of Huron Valley’s Cruelty & Rescue hotline at 734-661-3512 or submit tips online at hshv.org/crueltyreport. Those wishing to help abused, abandoned or neglected horses or other farm animals in our community can contribute to HSHV’s Farm Animal Aid Fund at hshv.org/farmaidfund.

About The Humane Society of Huron Valley:

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with nor do they receive funding from any other humane organization, and they depend on private donations for all programs. For more information, call (734) 662-5585 or visit www.hshv.org. LOVE STARTS HERE.