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Starving horses rescued from Taylor Ridge farm

Two severely underweight horses were rescued Tuesday from a Rock Island County farm owner with a history of animal cruelty.

The horses were taken to Schone’s Friendship Farm in Milan, Illinois, Tuesday. Schone’s serves as a foster home and rehabilitation center for horses, and owner Deb Schone said the pair were doing well.

“We don’t feed them any grain until they’re in much better shape. So, they just have as much hay as they’d like to eat all day long here, and they’ve been doing it,” said Schone.

Neither horse is diseased, just underfed. Their ribs are visible, and Schone estimates each is 200 to 300 pounds underweight.

“It’s very sad to see horses that look like this and are in this kind of condition, but with winter just around the corner, not that far off, we’re glad that we have them,” she said.

The two horses were rescued from the Taylor Ridge, Illinois, farm of Larry Garrett. Last October, nearly 20 other horses were taken from Garrett’s farm as well. Garrett was charged with two misdemeanors — cruelty to animals and an animal owner duties violation. He was allowed to keep two horses.

“They were two of the healthier-looking horses that they allowed him to keep. So, we were to keep an eye on them, and we came back after a complaint, and came to see that the horses are not being taken care of,” said Schone.

Almost a year later, though, only three of the original rescues are left at Schone’s Farm. They are doing well, much heavier and healthier, and offer hope for the Schone’s newest arrivals.

“Now we have a chance to get them rehabilitated, get some weight on them, and get them to where they are adoptable, and they’ll have a life,” said Schone.

As of Tuesday night, no charges had yet been filed against Garrett in regards to the latest rescue.