There are not enough pastures to hold all of the horses Theresa Batchelor wishes she could help.“To look into their eyes, is to see eternity, is to see a soul,” says Batchelor, who runs Beauties Haven, a shelter for neglected and abused horses in Ocala, Florida. The region is considered by many to be the horse breeding capital of the world.Some 300 miles to the south of her rescue, is the C-9 basin in north Miami-Dade County.“The first time I drove into the C-9 basin, the streets ran red with blood, literally,” says Richard Couto, talking about illegal horse slaughtering farms.“Anything and everything that went on in the C-9 basin was animal torture orientated,” he said.The retired land developer from Fort Lauderdale, Couto has made rescuing animals from illegal slaughter farms his life’s work.While working as a volunteer for the SPCA, Couto remembers finding one specific thoroughbred chained to a palm tree.The former race horse was minutes away from slaughter. The horse broke his leg in a race a few weeks before.A tattoo inside the horse’s mouth revealed he was, Freedoms Flight, the great-great grandson of the legendary Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973.
July 12, 2011
NBC2 Investigates: Illegal Florida Horse Slaughter Farms