DES MOINES, Iowa -- Animal Rescue League volunteers and staff had the Welsh ponies recently rescued from a farm near Earlham examined by veterinarians last week, and they say all nine are responding well to treatment.
The farrier trimmed all of the overgrown hooves on Tuesday.
"It's just made an incredible difference. You can see here that this is the longest of the hooves that we've actually been able to take off. And now they're starting to resemble a properly-trimmed hoof, even though the rehabilitation process is going to take a long time," Animal Rescue League Executive Director Tom Colvin said.
The ARL is working closely with Earlham police to make sure the remaining 50 or more ponies are getting the care they need. Colvin said all of the ponies taken in at the ARL Second Chance Ranch have parasites, among other individual issues.
"What we are hearing is there is food and water on the property currently. I'm going to feel better when we hear from the veterinarian plan and if they're keeping up on a veterinarian plan. Because obviously if these guys have parasites, those will, as well, you know, still have a great deal of concern of the ones remaining on the property," Colvin said.
The ARL is not confident in the current owners and think the ponies could slip back into a state of malnourishment.
"I would hope they would recognize, as evidenced by these, that this is beyond their scope financially and otherwise to care for, and that they'll do the right thing and start finding good homes for the ones out there," Colvin said.
The owners have been cited for neglect and improper disposal of dead livestock.
The ARL is accepting donations to help care for the ponies on its website.