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Horses heal on local farm
Animals neglected in Florida
Cheryl Flanagan and her sister, Michelle Williams, watch as one of the horses they recently rescued from Florida eats in a pasture at Flanagan's farm in Forsyth County. - photo by Emily Saunders
How to help
For more information about volunteering, donating or fostering horses from the Horse Rescue, Relief and Retirement Fund, go online at or call Cheryl Flanagan at (770) 886-5419.

Five emaciated horses rescued from Florida have made their way to Forsyth County. But their journey isn’t over.

Cheryl Flanagan, director of the Horse Rescue, Relief and Retirement Fund, said she hopes they will be adopted or fostered until a permanent home can be found.

She picked the horses up last week from a Santa Rosa County, Fla., residence and plans on getting three more from the same place in the next few days.

The horses are being kept on a 45-acre farm on Canton Highway near the Ducktown community.

She said she’s been gradually increasing the amount of food the horses receive as they regain their strength. They are adjusting to their new environment.

“They have different temperatures, different grass, different hay,” she said. “There’s a big pasture, but we can’t put them out there because there’s so much grass.”

Flanagan had the horses out in a fenced-in area Thursday afternoon.

As the once majestic creatures moved around, their ribs and other bones showed through their skin. They were so busy eating they hardly lifted their heads from the ground.

The horses were reportedly neglected by the owners of a Century, Fla., equine services business.

The owners, 53-year-old Robin Brownie Floyd and 42-year-old Lynn Livingston Floyd, turned themselves in Oct. 15 at the Escambia County Jail.

They face charges of confinement of animals without sufficient food or water.

The Floyds had moved nine horses in September from their business to a woman who has a 1-acre farm in Santa Rosa County. Flanagan said the woman offered to foster the horses until a home could be found for them.

About a month ago, she turned to Flanagan for help. A horse rescue group in that part of Florida was at capacity.

Flanagan said one of the horses had to be put down because of poor health.

Four horses remain at the Century business, she said, but a Florida rescue group is monitoring them.

“I don’t think they’re horrible people,” Flanagan said of the Floyds. “I think he takes them in because people don’t want them and he thinks he’s going to find them a home and then he gets in over his head and he can’t do it.”

To keep from getting in over her own head, Flanagan said she accepts donations of food, time and supplies to take care of the animals she rescues.

In addition to horses, she has taken in other animals including goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, pigs and sheep.

Flanagan said she has rescued critters of some form or fashion all her life. She said she and her sister grew up in urban Chicago, where they took in pigeons and took live snails from an Italian market near their home. She also kept spiders as pets.

She said she started rescuing horses in the 1970s and has a few of her own on her farm.

“I guess I’m just making up for not having a horse when I was a kid,” she said.