A semi-trailer filled with 25,000 kilograms of donated supplies arrived Thursday at a farm east of Edmonton to help care for 97 neglected and starving horses.
Susan Fyfe, who runs Keno Hills Stable in Ardrossan, has been nursing the Arabian horses back to health after the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized the animals in late February from a farm near Andrew, about 100 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
The truck that arrived Thursday was filled with feed, veterinary supplies and tack.
It was donated by ranchers and business people in southern Alberta who heard about the horses' plight and pitched in to help.
"It's like Christmas," said Fyfe and she and other volunteers sorted through the donations. "We really thank the guys down south. They've really done a great job banding together and bringing it up to us."
Darcy Busslinger, the owner of Country Living garden centre in Okotoks, south of Calgary, organized the donation drive, and helped make the delivery trip.
"We have everything from salt to mineral licks to medicines to oats to sweet feed, probably have a little blend of everything," said Busslinger who estimated the value of the shipment at about $40,000.
A trucking company, Peak Logistics, hauled the donations north to the Edmonton area farm free of charge.
"It's all volunteer," said Mike Fisher, owner of the company. "Unfortunately, you can't get diesel fuel for free. But that's neither here nor there. We're just here to help."
The horses' condition continues to improve, Fyfe said. She expects some of them will be ready for new homes in about three months. The sicker horses will require up to six months to return to full health, she said.
Axel Hinz-Schleuter and Dale Huber, both of Andrew, Alta., have been charged with 12 counts of allowing animals to be in distress and failure to provide duties of care under the Animal Protection Act.
If found guilty, they could be fined up to $20,000 and be banned from owning animals for a time period specified by a court.