The OSPCA says it has investigated a Peterborough area farm accused of neglect and found the animals are “receiving the care they require.”
The finding comes as a surprise for several individuals who have gone to the OSPCA with their concerns about the condition of the horses at Whisper Ridge Ranch.
It is also a surprise to a horse rescue organization which has taken in a horse recently removed from Whisper Ridge by its owner.
Sixteen year old Mimi arrived at Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in King City on Wednesday.
“It was really upsetting to see Mimi get off the trailer and see how skinny she is. One of our cleaners actually started crying,” said Clare Forndran, Media Director for Dog Tales.
She said Mimi has been soaking up all the love, attention and food she can get.
Whisper Ridge, the farm Mimi came from, bills itself as a horse sanctuary.
However, a video and a number of photos which appear to show starving and neglected horses paint a very different picture.
Earlier this month, the OSPCA launched an investigation.
They said in a statement that since then animals on the farm are “in improved overall health.”
“Unverified images depicting extremely thin horses have been circulating on social media, but officers attending the property did not find animals in that condition.” the OSPCA wrote.
The press release only mentions investigating since July 12th.
There was nothing about previous complaints.
Global News has copies of emails which show in October a horse owner emailed her concerns to the OSPCA. The same woman tried again a month later.
In March, two women, one a farm employee, sent in a complaint, which included many of the photos the OSPCA is now describing as “unverified.”
In June, another woman claims to have talked to an investigator three times.
The OSPCA would not do an interview with Global News regarding their findings.
Since Global News started covering the story two weeks ago the OSPCA has refused every interview request.
A reporter and camera person were there when a horse named Encore was reclaimed by his owner.
The horse was visibly underweight.
Now there’s Mimi.
Forndran acknowledged she hasn’t been to Whisper Ridge herself, but has helped dozens of rescue horses.
“By far Mimi is one of the saddest cases we’ve seen,” she said.
Global News previously reported on video provided by a former Whisper Ridge employee which shows a horse named Seek dying.
She died on the farm within days of her close buddy Cider.
Photos, that their previous caregiver says were taken when the horses went to the farm in June 2015, show horses which appear to be in excellent shape.
“They were amazing, happy, healthy horses,” said Nick Wilvert.
He added that it was heartbreaking to see how they ended up, especially knowing that the OSCPA was made aware of concerns with conditions on the farm, months before they died.
Now that the OSPCA has declared everything OK, he said he feels helpless.
“We entrust this agency to take care of animals like seek and cider.”
The owner of Whisper Ridge did not respond to our interview request.