YAKIMA, WA. -- The horses on Ahtanum Ridge are well fed now thanks to nearly 500 pounds of hay delivered every day by a group of kind hearted women. But the group has found that getting these horses out and into permanent homes has been a long and complicated process.
These horses are not starving, at least not any more. When Sherry Fryar found the group of 44 uncared for horses on Ahtanum Ridge last February, they had only a small grazing area left. Without proper food they were forced to eat two weeds called Yellow Star Thistle and Russian Nap Weed which, if consumed enough, causes irreversible neurological damage making it impossible for the horses to chew or swallow.
"They'd just stand over the hay we'd throw out and they couldn't eat," Sherry Fryar said. "They couldn't chew. So they would starve to death. That's a terrible way to have to go."
The ones who made it are much healthier now. But the group says they still need a permanent solution.
The land is on tribal property and owned by multiple people but the group claims one person is the owner of the horses.
"This owner hasn't taken responsibility," Brenda said. "Nobody's holding the tribe accountable (and) the tribe isn't holding this guy accountable."
State rescue groups have offered to help but nothing can be done without getting the Yakama Nation's approval. Something the group is determined to do.
"I'm not sure what the final outcome is," Lisa said. "All I know is that you can't sit around and do nothing."
The group says these aren't the only horses that have been left uncared for in Yakima County. Once they get help for these horses they want to work to rescue other horses struggling to survive.