Three horses rescued from abuse and neglect locally
“I’m exhausted, man,” Toney Wade says when called for this interview. “It just doesn’t stop.”
He’s an investigator with the Louisiana Cruelty Investigation Task Force, and he’s just returned from rescuing not one but three abused horses in west St. Mary Parish.
Their mission sums it up: “To educate animal owners on proper care and needs of the animals they own and to hold accountable those who cruelly treat or neglect their animals.”
That’s a job that places demands not only of time and energy, but on the human spirit.
“Then water patrol called about two dogs stuck in a camp down the bayou,” Wade said wearily. “We jump from land and got those horses to the shelter then hauled butt down the bayou to get those dogs. It just don’t stop.”
It was Friday that the call came. “Franklin animal control called me about a horse down Willow Street,” he recalled. “The horse was in rough shape. Bones showing everywhere. Apparently he had a foot that was infected, they ignored it, to the point now where he’s walking on his ankle not his foot like he should. He’s crippled for life now, there’s nothing we can do about that other than try to make him comfortable.”
He won’t be put down, Wade said, he can’t be ridden, and only about five years old. The person responsible will be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
The horse will survive but is being treated for a severe worm infestation, and will be further examined by a veterinarian. “It’s going to take a lot of money but he’ll get where he needs to be,” Wade said.
It wasn’t over yet. The sheriff’s office contacted him about two horses on La. 87 in the Charenton area. On the scene, the task force found two underfed, emaciated horses, both hundreds of pounds underweight. “The mare had got tangled up on a fencepost so she had a gash on her right front right leg and a cut on her right rear leg,” he said. “We’re treating those wounds. The other has a serious infection…that’s going to take quite a while to heal.”
It’s a condition that could be much more serious, and is being treated aggressively. Charges are pending in that case as well.
There’s the problem of costs. These animals must be treated and fed, taken care of and housed.
And the task force has no money.
“It breaks my heart,” Wade said. “Everybody calls me when there’s animals in need...but I need help. I can’t turn my back on the animals. But 90 percent of everything I do comes out of my own pocket. It gets rough. If anybody can donate a dollar, two dollars, ten dollars…it really helps, it’s more animals we can save.”
There are no public funds available to the task force, which is a nonprofit organization.
“We’re 100 percent self-supporting, Claire (Weiss) and I pay for this out of our own pockets,” he said.
Despite those conditions, Wade remains adamant:
“If you see something, report it.”
Anyone can contribute to the treatment and welfare of these animals, which also includes dogs, cats and any other species. There is a donations account set up at this web address: