Franklin County Animal Control officers rescued a severely malnourished horse earlier this week.
The young colt, "Shotgun," only weighs about 245 lbs, according to leaders at the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, where he is being cared for. To put that in perspective, a horse his age should weigh 500lbs to 750lbs.
Kathyrn Barber, the farm manager, can hardly find words to describe what it was like seeing him so sick and fragile; "It was indescribable. I didn't know whether to cry. I didn't know what to do I've never seen a horse in that condition."
But even through the pain, Barber says she can see his will to live. "Just the fact that he is so gentle with us. We gave him a bath - and he really enjoyed just being clean," Barber said.
Right now Shotgun is still very weak. The rescue center has him in a hoist that helps hold him up. As part of his daily routine they take him our and walked around the barn to help build up his strength. While he still has a long ways to go, Barber says he's getting better every day.
As Shotgun recovers, donations are being accepted at the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, to help Shotgun's recovery. Money to pay for his medical bills, food, and even protein shakes to help him gain weight.
"We hope we can get him healthy, and we can find him a happy loving home," Barber says.
Investigators say because this is an ongoing investigation, they are not releasing the name of the horse owner at this time. So far no charges have been filed.