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The Stafford County Morgans

 Read the Humane Investigation Report for this case


The story of this herd occurred shortly after ERL opened its doors. Although we have encountered a variety of inconceivable situations since then, the story of the Stafford County Morgans remains the most dramatic example of what can happen when horses fall victim to apathy.


Thirty-two purebred Morgans, rescued from various stages of starvation, arrived at the ERL farm shelter in Leesburg, VA on April 26, 1991. While these horses have been rehabilitated and adopted into homes since, we would like to share with you a few of the emotions experienced while we were caring for the Stafford County Morgans.

Flower at Time of Rescue

Flower at Time of Rescue

Shortly after arrival at ERL, Flower was barely able to stand. It took six people to carry this mare from the trailer into the barn.

Flower One Year Later

Flower One Year Later

Flower, fully recovered and enjoying a home and family of her own!

The heartbreakers...

The way they stood in the shadows in corners of their stalls. Sad and lethargic horses with huge lifeless eyes, not yet able to trust their new caregivers.


Watching Maggie, a severely debilitated two-year-old mare, while Dr. Salewski and Cheryl delivered her extremely weak, poorly developed colt six days after her rescue.


Saying good-bye to Trucker, a two year old colt, who had been hobbling around with shattered hock for many months.


Flower arriving with the other horses in the trailer; though she was not standing, she was still alive. She could not walk out of the trailer by herself. She tried though, but she kept falling so we had to lift this tired, sad, and scared horse out of the trailer and into a stall.

The heartwarmers...

Watching a wilted "Flower" bloom into a thriving, healthy filly.


To witness the returning health and emerging confident personalities of these

wonderful horses.


To see Maggie and her new foal, Trucker Junior, gain health and strength.

To see her become protective and caring for her healthy and handsome baby boy.


To watch their dry, dead, matted hair fall away and be replaced by healthy, shiny coats.


To watch the protruding ribs and hips rapidly disappear as these horses gain weight and condition.

Maggie Magee

The black and white photo was taken on Maggie's arrival, six days before she foaled. She managed to foal succesfully, though her colt was extremely weak and poorly developed.

Maggie's colt was named Trucker Junior (TJ), after the colt that had to be euthanized. 

TJ is now a healthy and happy horse who has been adopted into his forever home!

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