ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A horse rescue organization facing eviction was able to move 41 horses ahead of a Friday deadline.
Shadarobah Horse Rescue faced eviction by the property owner at the stables on U.S. 33 between Fort Wayne and Churubusco. The owner of the property is giving the group two weeks following the eviction to collect any remaining possessions, but the times of the move most be coordinated between lawyers for the two sides.
President and Barn Manager Michelle Heitz told NewsChannel 15 the remaining horses were moved from Shadarobah early Friday morning before daybreak. Most of the horses are in different locations across northeast Indiana including Columbia City, Kendallville, and Ossian. Some have been taken in by other shelters while other horses have been moved to private farms or properties.
“We’re still looking for a permanent location for our horses. These current facilities are just temporary, so we are still trying to secure a permanent place for the rescue and we’re open to any county in Northeast Indiana,” said Cody Williams, the attorney for Shadarobah Horse Rescue.
Heitz said 12 horses that were nearing adoption have been placed with their adoption families. Heitz said the horses could be given to families because they only needed minor things completed, such as dental work or another week or two of monitoring.
Volunteers with trailers and trucks began moving the horses around 8 a.m. Thursday. Heitz said since Wednesday she’s had about an hour of sleep.
Other animals including goats and cats have also been moved.
Shadarobah had a land contract agreement with the property owner but wasn’t able to make monthly payments. A order to vacate the property was served last week. An injunction to stop the eviction was filed in court Thursday, but a judge didn’t act on the motion because the two sides were able to reach a tentative agreement.
“It was a little cold, but it’s been a little better here at the end. I think we’re ready to part ways, and each side wants to have a new beginning here. We’ve really kind of breathed a sigh of relief in a way that we’re able to put this in the past and we’re just going to move forward,” said Williams.
Heitz said Shadarobah is looking at property in Whitley County to possibly call home. She said the idea of moving to that property would be a dream, but cautioned its very early to consider that a concrete solution. Heitz said the property is much larger than the U.S. 33 site and has a large pasture area that would help with feeding.
Some of the final remaining horses were saved for last because Heitz said they’d be the most difficult to move.
Dr. Douglas Fisher, an equine veterinarian from Huntertown, was on-site while the horses were moved. Dr. Fisher also administered sedatives to some horses who did not take well to being placed in trailers. Dr. Fisher also monitored the health of the horses and made sure to provide care as the animals were moved to different locations.
Heitz said Dr. Fisher is the regular veterinarian who volunteers at the rescue.