AYDEN - The United States Equine Rescue League Central Coast Region rescue malnourished horses that have been abandoned and rehabilitate them in foster homes so they can be adopted.
The group covers several counties in Eastern Carolina including: Pitt, Greene, Edgecombe, Martin, Craven, Beaufort, Dare, Pamlico, Carteret, Washington, Tyrell and Hyde counties.
Two of the group's latest rescues came from Pitt and Surry County. Tango was found in the middle of a field in Ayden in May. Rescuers said Pitt County Sheriff's officers had tried to catch the horse for months.
Jen Suares is the regional director for the group.
"He was never aggressive but he was very scared," she said.
Ellie May is the group's most recent rescue, picked up in the mountains in Mt. Airy in July. Rescuers said she was very underweight when they got her, and she wouldn't let anyone touch her. In fact, to even get her into the trailer they had to build a pen around her and her minature pony friend and move them 200 feet up a hill.
"It's horrifying when you get there and something that could have been easily diffused that didn't have to happen. [In Ellie May's case] I don't think she had any human interaction before she came here," Suares said.
Sue Caldwell has been working with the non-profit for a year and said it's a process to train them with other horses around.
"When I get a new one in I keep them separated so that we can do some hands on training so they get to trusting me. My goal is to make these guys as comfortable and healthy as possible so we can adopt them out and find a good home for them," Caldwell said.
And with love and support from volunteers the women know these horses will get back to health.
"Just like dogs and cats horses need care as well," Caldwell said.
Both Tango and Ellie May are available for adoption.
The group currently cares for 40 horses. However, they are maxed out on foster homes and are in need of more volunteers.
If you would like to volunteer the group's next meeting will be held August 18th at 4 p.m. at Susie's Stables in Ayden.
For more information on the group visit their website: