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Healing the Horses

{}Hardy, VA.-Some people believe there's something healing about horses.{}And in the case of those who run the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue -- the healing goes both ways. {}Rescue founder, {}Pat Muncy, and her volunteers pour their heart and souls into bringing abused and starved horses back to life. {}

Last weekend, a three month old colt, sent up by a vet from West Virginia, landed at their door. They named him Warrior, with hopes he could fight his way back from severe starvation. Alas, his body weight and the abuse he'd suffered was too much.{}

Within 24 hours, they lost him. {}

{}Now they're desperately trying to save {}three more horses. {}The woman who owned them simply couldn't keep up with their care. {}One of the three horses that came in on Monday night, is a mare named "GiGi." She's starting to eat and with continued veterinary monitoring nutrition. The good news is she should recover. {}{}GiGi, Doc and their baby, Patrick are here too.{}{}Nicole McGovern, of the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, "He's missing weight in his neck. You can feel every one of his ribs."{}{} Daddy Doc is a tougher case -- depressed and with a very low body score of 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. {}A healthy horse weight should fall between 4.5 and 5 or 6, according to Muncy. {}Muncy and McGovern are optimistic that GiGi and Baby Patrick will recover and they hope that Doc, will make it too.{} {}Horses are expensive to care for and need a specific diet -- many owners don't understand the requirements it takes to keep a thousand pound animal healthy, says McGovern. {}"And that's our message with these guys is we really want anybody whose horses are in this shape to reach out and get help. We are willing to do whatever we can to help you. If you can't afford to keep your horse. Call us. Reach out. Don't let it get to this point."{}{}Muncy {}and McGovern are not new at this game.{}They know the nutrition and medical care it takes to turn starved and sickly horses around. The supplements, the feed and sometimes the 'round the clock monitoring it takes to turn horses around.{}{}And they have the success stories to prove it. {}The property has more than fifty horses, some who are in the process of healing and some who were once fighting for their lives, now romping and healthy.{}As she grabs two of the healthier colts in an outside paddock and gets lots of {}smooches, McGovern, notes, "It's amazing. It's heartbreaking while you're going through it. But when you turnaround and look at the difference. It's something."{}

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