Happy ending for some horses that survived trailer accident

Thursday, September 27, 2007
Longmeadow Rescue Ranch director Earlene Cole led Stan into a trailer Dec. 21 on their way to an equine clinic near Union, Mo. Stan is a 19-year-old thoroughbred that was rescued from the Interstate 44 trailer accident in September 2006. (Huy Richard Mach ~ St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Seven of the horses have been adopted, and 13 others are ready for new homes.

ST. LOUIS -- Seven horses that survived a horrific trailer accident on Interstate 44 a year ago have been adopted, and 13 others are ready for new homes, the Humane Society of Missouri said Wednesday.

All of them recuperated from their injuries at the Humane Society's Longmeadow Rescue Ranch in Union, Mo.

Three horses -- and one offspring of a trailer passenger -- are Barn Buddies, animal ambassadors at Longmeadow.

Three horses had to be euthanized because of injuries in the accident or other chronic health problems.

On Sept. 27, 2006, a double-decker horse trailer packed with 42 horses was en route to an Illinois slaughterhouse when it veered and overturned in the median on I-44 in Franklin County.

Sixteen horses died in the accident or were severely injured and had to be immediately euthanized, but 25 horses and one hinny survived thanks to rescue workers and volunteers dispatched from Longmeadow.

Kathy Warnick, Humane Society president, said the horses' ordeal shed light on the "inhumane treatment of horses."

She said not only old horses are packed off for slaughter. Many of the horses in the I-44 accident were young, though some were malnourished and had been mistreated.

She cited government figures that more than 100,000 American horses last year were either slaughtered for export at a U.S. slaughterhouse or shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld an Illinois decision to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The nation's last horse slaughtering plant in DeKalb, Ill., could be forced to permanently close unless it appeals.

Pending federal legislation would prevent transporting horses from the U.S. to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

Visiting hours at Longmeadow are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

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