ORION, Ill. — Nearly two dozen neglected horses have been surrendered to Schone's Equine Rescue near Orion. The rescue is now hosting an open house for potential fosters or adopters on Saturday, Sept. 17.
On Sept. 14, 19 horses and ponies were brought out to Schone's Knoxville Rd. residence. They had been in the care of an elderly local woman who is semi-retiring and couldn't take care of the animals anymore, said Rodger Schone, owner of the horse rescue.
The horses are suffering from severely overgrown hooves, matted manes and exposed ribs.
"Some of them are not halter-broke at all," Schone said. "Their feet are really bad. We've got seven studs and we have to castrate all seven of them. We've got a lot of mares that have never had a halter on them."
The rescue has already bought 300 bales of hay for the animals and is working on getting each checked out by veterinarians.
According to Schone, the previous owner will not be charged with any animal cruelty or abuse, as part of the condition for surrendering the horses.
"All they need is love. Somebody to take care of them - a better life than they had before," Schone said, as he began petting one emaciated stud next to him. "I see this guy looks me in the eye and he says thanks every time I feed him. So that's the nice thing about this horse, he's very nice. They say he's one of the meanest studs there is, but he's been nice to me the whole time."
To help, the rescue is asking for any potential fosters or adopters to come and meet the animals. The open house will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at their 5-acre enclosure at 16425 Knoxville Road, Orion, IL.
If you're interested in learning more about the horses, or if you'd like to donate to the rescue's efforts, you can contact Schone at (309)781-2976 or (309)781-1479. You can also check out their Facebook page.
"Come out and see the horses! See the new life they're gonna get," Schone said. "We can go back in the past and talk about how bad this and that was, but come out and enjoy their new life."
Watch more news, weather and sports on News 8's YouTube channel