Faced with an unusual dilemma, members of the Harlan County Humane Society are asking residents to help remove hundreds of horses from mining property so that reclamation work may be completed.
“There are approximately 300 horses on property owned by Sequoia Energy that will have to be either sold or given away as soon as possible,” said Harlan County Humane Society Special Investigator Mary Sizemore. “The property is located on Straight Creek in Dingo.”
“These horses have been here for years and years,” she said. “Throughout time, people have brought horses they no longer could care for to this area and left them there. Coal miners and residents in the area have always stopped by and left food or hay for the horses to eat in the winter.”
Sizemore said because the male horses have not been gelded, the population has grown and continues to grow each day.
“Most of these horses are wild, but some are tame,” said Sizemore. “I was notified by Bobby Adkins, with Sequoia Energy, and he told me they had been notified that the horses must be removed from the property so that the land can be reclaimed. He said every time they have tried to reclaim the property the horses eat all the grass they sow.”
Sizemore said Adkins told her Sequoia Energy has the authority to sell or give the horses away, just to get them off the property.
“Everyone involved would rather give the horses away,” said Sizemore. “When these horses are removed it will be understood they will be removed in a humane way. They are wild and, if you are planning to put them into a corral, it must be at least six feet high. No one needs to be out there on four-wheelers running these horses back through the mountains trying to catch them. Because of the terrain, it is impossible to get a helicopter in there to round these horses up like they do out west. It’s going to be very hard to catch these horses.”
Sizemore said anyone taking one or more of the horses must go through the Harlan County Humane Society.
“We want these horses to go to good homes — homes where they can be well taken care of,” said Sizemore. “It’s expensive to feed a horse, especially during the winter months. That needs to be taken into consideration before taking one home. We don’t want these horses mistreated. They have been on this property for so many years. People have driven from different areas just to look at these beautiful horses. Just remember, if you take a horse, the Humane Society has the right to follow up on their placement.”
Anyone interested in receiving one or more of the horses may contact Sizemore at 621-0358, Harlan County Humane Society President Marcella Chadwick at 909-4781, Vice President Linda Parsons at 573-4368 or Secretary Jenny Hickey at 573-9197.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org