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Panhandle Equine Rescue says rescued horse worst they've seen

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Healthy Tennessee Walking Horses are supposed to weigh about a thousand pounds, but 3 year old, Capona weighed a little over 600 pounds when she and her mother, Sweet Mary, were rescued.

"I still don't understand why people can just turn their backs on their animals and not even give them their basic needs, food and water" said Diane Lowery, Panhandle Equine Rescue President.

Diane Lowery has spent the last eight years rehabilitating horses with Panhandle Equine Rescue.  Capona and Sweet Mary are some of the worst she's seen.

"The day that we picked them up, there was no feed on the property and very little water" said Lowery.

Lowery started caring for the horses after Escambia County Animal Control found them at a home on Bowman Avenue, severely malnourished.  Since Capona was laying down so much, she developed pressure sores on her body.

"Capona is having a very difficult time, she's very weak and she's able to stand but once she lay down, she has trouble getting back up" said Lowery.

It can take up to eight people to get Capona on her feet.
Rehabilitating horses can also be expensive.  The bales of hay, bags of feed and vet bills are costing the donation funded rescue group, thousands of dollars.
Lowery has rescued 77 animals since 2005.  She hopes Capona and Sweet Mary send a message to people who are unable to properly care for their pets.
"Ask for help before it gets like this, when it gets like this, it's a crime" said Lowery.

Lowery says she plans to press charges against the previous owner of the horses for animal cruelty and neglect.

The horses are expected to be nursed back to full health in about 3 to 4 months.