PENDER COUNTY -- Most of us could never imagine neglecting our animals... But animal cruelty is something that goes on all around us. One woman saved seven horses and is now encouraging others to help too. Some food and a drink of water is exactly what these horses need. Volunteer animal cruelty investigator Lisa Hartman rescued the horses Sunday when the owner's friend called, looking for help. "If these horses had not been rescued they would have continued to go down and become in a more emaciated state," Hartman said. An eighth horse was dead before Hartman could get there. "After pulling these horses off the farm I could see a dead horse. I could smell a dead horse and I knew that there had to be a change in the situation." Hartman says the situation didn't have to turn deadly, if only she had known sooner. "We probably could have helped her provide the food or relocate the horses without having to take the horses off the property," Hartman said. The animals' owner agreed to let Hartman help her and take the horses, so no charges will be filed. "If you see something you have to report it. If you don't have the heart or you turn your head, these animals are suffering." Hartman wants people to not be afraid to come forward if they see an animal that needs help and how to recognize when there's a problem. A sign of neglect of any animal is being able to see the bones. On a horse you should not be able to see the spine, hips and ribs. "It doesn't matter how much I do this, it still affects me. But I know that I'm making a difference even if it's one animal at a time. You lose another horse and it just makes you strive harder." If you see an animal in need alert your local animal control. You can also call the US Equine Rescue or animal cruelty investigator Lisa Hartman at 538-5575.
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