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Neglected horse found in Halcott on the mend

Skye after her surgery
August 19, 2019 05:05 pm Updated: August 19, 2019 11:06 pm

HUDSON — A horse that was rescued in Greene County last month in an animal cruelty case is on its way to recovery after a procedure to remove a tissue growth from its hind leg, Columbia-Greene Humane Society President Ron Perez said Monday.

Skye, a 14-year-old thoroughbred-type mare was found without food or water, severely underweight and with a basketball-sized injury on a hind leg. The mare underwent surgery last week at Rhinebeck Equine to remove the lump.

“The surgery went very well,” Perez said. “We are waiting on a biopsy. We hope to hear back this week.”

Skye developed the large amount of granular tissue known as “proud flesh” because the original injury to the leg was not treated properly, Perez said.

The mare was discovered in a metal building in Halcott in the middle of a July heat wave, Perez said.

Her owner, William Hrazanek, 73, of Fleischmanns, in Delaware County, was arrested July 24 and charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor.

Thanks to the efforts of veterinarians at the clinic, Skye is on the path to a healthier life.

“The surgery took a few hours to remove the lump and suture the leg,” Perez said. “She is still at the [clinic] to make sure the bandages can be changed and she is under observation.”

Perez expects she might return to her current foster home on Wednesday.

Skye’s surgery was made possible with donations from the community, Perez said.

“We raised several thousand dollars,” he said. “I’m grateful for that. I don’t have the bill yet but it’s a rather costly surgery and recovery. We deeply appreciate all the support from the community.”

Skye has also been gaining weight, Perez said.

“She is doing quite well,” he said. “You have to do it slowly and make sure she is getting the right nutrition. Hopefully she will continue to make progress.”

When Skye first came to the Humane Society, she scored a 1.5 on their nine-point body scale.

“Nine is obese and a one is emaciated,” Perez said.

Once Skye is fully recovered, decisions about her future can be made.

“We have a criminal case coming up with the District Attorney’s office,” Perez said. “We hope her former owner will surrender her so it will be a clean adoption.” Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione will handle the case because the horse was found in Halcott.

If the owner does not surrender Skye, she will be put into a foster program while the Humane Society continues to litigate on her behalf, Perez said.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, Town of Halcott Animal Control and Greene County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the investigation.