The caretakers responsible for giving a nearly dead horse a second chance at life just weeks ago have been given an even bigger challenge.
Eleven days ago, the Pottawatomie Sheriff's Office called the Cross family after finding 13 emaciated horses.
News 9 told you about Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue when they began caring for Rudy, who is now on the mend. But just as his condition started to improve, the rescue took on 13 horses in critical condition.
After 14 years of helping horses, you'd think Natalee Cross and her husband had seen it all. But unfortunately, they continue to witness case after shocking case of animal abuse in Oklahoma.
“Rudy has been one that we would've never seen or anticipated and then you turn around and get thrown into another case that grabs your heart and breaks it all over again,” said Natalee Cross.
The case that recently grabbed the Cross family's heart involved 12 adult quarter horses found on oil-leased land in Pottawatomie County, along with a young horse.
“She's about six months old and she was walking up to me and just as she almost made it to me, she collapsed in front of me,” said Cross.
The horses were starved, covered in ticks and five of them are pregnant. They hadn't ever had attention from a human until the Cross's came along.
They immediately began caring for the horses and gave the little one a lot of attention. But after suffering for the first six months of her life, three days of care couldn't save her.
“For such a young baby it's just heartbreaking because they just never got a chance to know what life is,” Cross said.
The rest of the recent rescues will have that chance with months of rehabilitation. But Cross just hopes this early influx of cases isn't a sign of what's ahead for 2015.
“We're better people than to allow all our animals to suffer just for no reason. We all should just make an effort to make sure that if we're going to bring an animal into this world, that we're doing right by that animal,” Cross told News 9.
Cross said they offer low-cost gelding clinics for horse owners.