CHICHESTER, NH (CBS) – “When they called, my heart stopped,” said Teresa Paradis. Her rescue operation, called Live and Let Live Farm, was already full and donations were down. “I’m comfortable with trying to go through the winter with 50 horses,” she said.
But last week, she took on 16 more after a call from the New Hampshire Department for Agricultural Animals. “See all of this muck right here. All of their bodies were covered with it,” Paradis said pointing to one of the horses.
Littleton Police say it appears a woman brought the animals, which included Alpacas and a Llama, to New Hampshire from Nevada. When her attempted purchase of a house fell through, she found someone to care for the animals. But Paradis was told that person got injured and fell behind. “I got a call from the state asking if I had any room,” Paradis said. “I was like we just have to get them out of here as soon as we can because they weren’t physically abused with somebody hitting them, but they were very neglected.”
Live and Let Live Farm survives solely on volunteers and contributions. “It’s not the room I worry about so much as finding the money to feed them,” she said. Paradis already spends $90,000 a year just on hay and grain. Medical care for the 16 neglected horses could add $50,000 to that. “They all need tooth care. They’re having a hard time eating and take a look at his eyes,” she said, showing us one of the horse’s eyes covered with muck. Some likely have hoof disease and many, especially the miniatures, have swollen stomachs. “Minis have a tendency to get fat easy,” she explained. “But this is an extended stomach from parasites.”
It could take six months for all of the animals to fully recover. Their rescue, according to Paradis, came just in time. “I think had the state and the town of Littleton not been right on top of it all of the time, we would’ve seen one of the worst cases New Hampshire ever had,” she said.
Because the caretaker and family of the owner signed over the animals, police say animal neglect charges will not be filed.
Paradis hopes to eventually have the horses in her care healthy enough to adopt. In the meantime, she and other volunteers will work to raise money to pay for their care. “We’ll make it work because there are a lot of good hearted caring people out there and we have a lot of awesome volunteers,” she said.
To find out more about Live and Let Live Farm, go to www.liveandletlivefarm.org.