The pictures are heartbreaking, showing another sad case of someone charged with starving a horse to death in the Tampa Bay area.
The photo pretty much sums up what happened to the horse named "Mary."
This is the latest in what seems like a string of neglected and starved horses in the Bay area in recent months.
This time, it was a horse in Floral City in Citrus County.
The pictures aren't easy to look at, but this was the condition a Citrus County deputy found the horse in on Thursday. The little Arabian horse named Mary was too far gone and had to be euthanized.
The woman who owned her says she tried different feeds but couldn't keep weight on the horse.
But neighbors told the deputy they offered to help, to allow the owner to let the horse graze in their overgrown pasture -- and were turned down.
One neighbor says she saw the horse eating bark off a tree.
A woman who identified herself as the original owner says she offered many times to take the horse back and treat her for whatever might be the problem, and the new owner refused.
That owner is Tammi Kampman, who is charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Her bond was set at $500.
We asked experts how much it costs to feed and care for a horse.
They tell us it depends on different factors like the size and breed of the horse.
We spoke with the head of RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview. Shawn Jayroe says the cost of hay has gone up dramatically. Her hay is running around $18 a bale, and the average horse eats a bale a week, minimum.
Then there's grain: some horses need it, some don't. But Jayroe says it costs about $200 a month for feed.
Owning a horse comes with the costs of the farrier to care for their hooves, and there's also the expense with dental care and vaccinations.
If you have fallen on hard times and can't take care of your horse, there is help available. R-v-r rescue has launched what they call the CLEAR campaign: Care, Learn, Educate, Act and Rescue.
They want to help educate the public and to intervene before things get so bad that it's too late for horses like Mary.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/ClearRvrHorseRescue
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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