Most of the abused horses seized from a farm in Dinwiddie are now being nursed back to health at medical layover facilities throughout the area.
Buttercup, a six-week-old horse, is one of several seized animals that's recovering. Her mom Missy and seven other equines are bouncing back, putting on weight, thriving and getting healthier.
One look at a picture of Missy on May 5 — before she was seized from the farm — shows she was in poor shape, malnourished, and covered in parasites.
Today, she's making great strides.
"She'll be just fine," said Chief Warden Deborah Broughton for Dinwiddie County Animal Control. "I feel good about that."
In May, Dinwiddie Animal Control seized 94 neglected and abused animals, mostly horses, from a farm on White Oak Road in the county.
As part of a legal agreement, the former owner of the animals, Sara Johnson, admitted to not properly caring for the animals and agreed to give them up.
For five weeks, veterinarians at an undisclosed medical layover facility have kept a watchful eye on the health of the horses.
"They're about 90 percent where they need to be," said Broughton.
18-year-old Dreamy was pregnant when she arrived at the facility.
"When she gave birth, you could physically see her rib cage when she was pregnant — and you can barely now. She's almost perfect in her size now," said Broughton.
Although the animals are on the road to recovery — Broughton said the animals still need plenty of medical attention and TLC.
"All of these horses were covered with parasites. One still has treatment on her to heal those things."
Most of the animals are expected to fully recover. It's unclear when the animals will be healthy enough for adoption.
The former owner of the animals, Sara Johnson, is facing criminal charges. She's due back in court next month.
Dinwiddie Animal Control said it's still in need of donations to care for the animals.
If you can help, give them a call at 804-469-4547.
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