One horse dead, another found starving

Goshen. The horse, named Cailan, which means Warrior of Life, is being cared for through a Pets Alive program that specifically cares for emaciated equine animals.

06 May 2020 | 01:36

Gene Hecht, chief of Hudson Valley SPCA Humane Law Enforcement said the property where one dead horse and one emaciated horse were found was leased out to an individual who had two horses on an island in the black dirt area of the Town of Goshen.

Hecht said the property owner had served an eviction notice to the individual to get off his property. The one now dead horse and the one emaciated horse lived in the shadows in a muddy field without food, clean water or sustenance of any kind.

The barely alive horse was found starving on property just between Mandura Lane and Jessup Switch Road in Goshen's black dirt.

Town of Goshen's Police Chief James McDowell said knows who owned the horses.

"He should have known,” the chief said. “It was clearly obvious to us the horse was starving and apparently the second died from starvation. We're not sure who he leased the property from. A concerned neighbor alerted us about the two horses. There was a small amount of water in a bucket consistent with raining the day before. No food was visible. It's shocking to see.”

No charges have been filed.

Hecht said he met police on site. He said he saw the condition of the remaining horse which was barely able to stand. "We had to help it up," Hecht said.

Hechit got a seizure warrant from the Goshen Town Court, enabling removal of the animal from the property because the animal was in eminent danger.

Hecht called Becky Tegze, the Executive Director at Pets Alive. She brought her trailer and the police and Hecht assisted in loading the weak horse. Pets Alive has a facility to care for abused animals and animals who have suffered from cruelty. They normally house and care for 250 to 300 animals.

“What makes this case that much harder for us to handle.” Tegze said, “is that there is evidence that humans were there watching the two horses starve and suffer.”

The location was littered with broken glass, empty soda bottles, car parts, broken chairs, and what one might call a tree stand. “How does someone stand by and watch the suffering?” Tegze said. “But he must have sensed salvation was near, as this gentle, muddy boy greeted us eagerly, ready to escape.”

Because he's gaunt and wasted, there's a special program called Re-Feed. The program is used with emaciated equine animals. Tegze said, "He's happy to be with people. He knew he was safe finally. You could tell. When a horse feels safe, it encourages life. We are going to do whatever we have to to encourage life and recovery in this animal."

The team at Pets Alive named the horse Cailan, which means Warrior of Life. Cailan has protruding ribs and hip bones, and he is hundreds of pounds underweight. Cailan was examined and bloodwork was completed. He will need farrier care, dental work, x-rays, vaccines, deworming, months of rehabilitation and a slow re-feed regime for him to safely gain weight.

Pets Alive is asking for help from the community to defray the cost of Cailan’s care. To make a donation on online visit or mail a check to Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940. Visit the website at for more information.

"He's beyond gentle,” Tegze said. “For the cruelty he's endured, he craves human attention. He endured so much cruelty, it's amazing he's gentle and kind at this point in his life."