Flooding taking a toll on Tampa horse rescue organization

Weeks of heavy rains and flooding have put a local horse rescue in a desperate position. 

Managers are asking for help to make sure the horses are safe from illness as a result of the soggy conditions.

Equestrian Inc. Equine Rescue cares for 27 rescued horses.

As a result of flooding that ruined the non-profit's barn, they only have room for three horses to stay out of the muddy, bacteria-filled pastures.

Director Glenda Smith says the barn needs to be rebuilt. 

The non-profit already operates solely on charitable donations, and Smith says the rains have caused Equestrian Inc. to be in the worst shape ever.

"It's taking its toll on our horses, on our barn," said Smith.

Smith says the muddy water poses health risks to the horses and can cause their hooves to become infected. It also puts them at risk for skin infections.

Many of the horses Smith and her volunteers take care of are former race horses from Tampa Bay Downs. Others have been abused or are otherwise injured.

Smith says donations are needed to rebuild the barn and fill the stalls with dirt in hopes of drying them out.

"With mounting vet bills and the amount of money that it's going to take to put the barn back together again, we're hoping that the community will step up for these horses because they're all wonderful animals and so deserving," said Smith.