RIVERVIEW, Fla. - Several are emaciated. Their ribs protrude and their hips jut out. RVR Horse Rescue just got another truckload of horses over the weekend that need help right away. This time, there are eight of them.
"I try to keep the sadness and anger at bay because this is the best place for them to come," said volunteer Kelly Ford.
"If they come here then they have a great chance for recovery," said Ford.
Wheezy is an Appaloosa in her mid twenties. Pike is gelding who is around 14 years-old and a real lover. Razzle Dazzle is 28, a paint mare, and a former barrel racer. They will all take a lot of love, elbow grease and money to get them back to health.
"It doesn't take that long for a horse to come down with significant medical problems," says Dr. Rich Gold, a veterinarian who volunteers his time at the rescue. A lot of other people do as well. Two to three hundred people volunteer to keep RVR and the horses who come there, going.
The horses come from a variety of different situations. Possibly abuse or neglect. The owner of the 8 new ones just got overwhelmed and agreed that giving them up would be the best course of action.
At any one time, the farm has two to three dozen living there, all in different stages of recovery. They are fed special diets and given extensive veterinary care. Their hoofs are trimmed, and the jagged edges of their teeth floated, or filed down.
It all costs money and quite a bit. On a typical month, if there are no emergencies, operating costs can run $6,000. It comes from donations.
The goal is to rehabilitate every horse and eventually adopt it out to a caring new owner. Many of the horse are rideable. Others are too old and become a so-called "pasture pal" for another horse who is alone and needs a friend.
Even after possibly spending thousands of dollars to get a horse back on its feet, the adoption fee to qualified owners is the same, $250.
"We're not here to make money or flip horses, or sell horses," RVR's founder, Shawn Jayroe told FOX 13.