NewsLocal NewsIn Your Parish


Humane Society asking for help for neglected horses

Posted at 4:55 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 17:57:47-04
Two horses rescued with just hours to spare on Friday, May 24, 2019. (Photo: Human Society)
Two horses rescued with just hours to spare on Friday, May 24, 2019. (Photo: Human Society)


MELVILLE, La. – St. Landry Parish Animal Control (SPLAC) has taken in two neglected horses and the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) is asking for donations to help.

St. Landry Animal Control and Rescue Department received a call Monday that a horse was down in a field on Second Street in Melville. A crew from animal control responded to the site along with the Melville Police Department to assist with the investigation. Once on the scene, they discovered a young black mare lying in the empty lot emaciated, dehydrated, and covered with large black horse flies, according to Jeff Dorson, HSL Director

A second horse, a red mare, was standing nearby. With some help, they were able to get the downed mare, which they named Airabell, to stand. They gave Airabell water and doused her with fly spray. Dorson stated SPLAC director Stacey Alleman left an Official Notice on the site and asked that the owner or the custodian of the horses to contact SPLAC.

Since no one responded to the notice, a crew returned to the site the following morning and found the Airabell still lying down in the field. She was too weak to stand. A used firehose was placed under her belly and used as a pulley to help her stand. They then assisted Airabell into the trailer.

The red mare that had been standing close to the black mare the previous day, was nowhere to be seen. Members of the rescue team drove and walked around the woods, looking for her. Fearing that she had been moved out of the area, the crew decided to leave, according to Dorson. As they were pulling away, they heard Airabell nicker and another horse nickered back. The crew stopped the vehicle and got out to canvass the area. The red mare was hidden in a wooded area and had been tied up on a short lead with no water, stated the HSL Director. They untied the horse and loaded her into the trailer next to Airabell. The named the red mare, Annie.

SPLAC transported both of the horses to Copper Crown Equine Clinic in Opelousas.

Airabell was placed on pain and anti-inflammation medication. To relieve the pressure on her hooves and swollen joints, the veterinarians placed specially-fitted clogs on Airabell and started her on a slow re-feeding program.

Dorson stated both mares were also treated for a condition called slobbers, which was caused from eating bacteria on clover; and it leads to throwing up water and excessive slobbering.

Airabell remains hospitalized and Annie has been moved to the St. Landry Animal Care and Rescue Center in Opelousas.

SPLAC, which is not presently accepting donations from the public until the parish council reviews its ordinances and policies, has asked the Humane Society of Louisiana to accept donations on behalf of Airabell and Annie in order to pay for their care.

Donations can be made online for the care of these horses at, on its Facebook page or checks can be made out to the Humane Society of Louisiana and mailed to P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. Donations are tax-deductible. Checks or money orders can also be sent directly to Copper Crown Vet Clinic, 5124 LA-182, Opelousas, LA 70570.Checks should be made out to Copper Crown and in the check memo, write “for Airabell and Annie”. All donations sent to Copper Crown will be applied to the balance.

“We are very grateful to Ms. Alleman and her hard-working crew for rushing to the scene and organizing the rescue of these two wonderful horses,” Dorson said. “Without their quick actions, this would have likely had a very different outcome. We’re also hoping that the Melville Police Department will actively pursue this matter and arrest those responsible.”