New Hay Bank aims to prevent horse neglect

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Minnesota horse owners struggling to meet the cost of feeding their animals will have a new resource to help. A coalition of groups has launched the Minnesota Hay Bank, in hopes of preventing a repeat of animal cruelty cases like one now being prosecuted in southeastern Minnesota.

The Fillmore County attorney filed charges this week against the owner of a farm where several horses were found dead and more than 50 sick and starving animals were removed. That case was part of the impetus behind the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition starting the hay bank. The coalition also released photos of some of the emaciated horses seized from the Fillmore County farm.

The drought that parched the Midwest this year means hay is in short supply. And while temperatures go down this winter, hay prices are only likely to go up. The coalition started the bank with $3,000 from the Animal Humane Society and a private donor. It hopes to raise another $7,000 by the end of the month.

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