A group of veterinarians is treating pack horses and mules on the Havasupai Indian Reservation this month. The Humane Society of the United States organized the trip, following allegations of abuse. KNAU’s Aaron Granillo reports.
Animal rights groups say the abuse has gone on for years. Visitors have witnessed malnourished and overworked horses, owned by tribal members. Some of the animals were wounded after carrying luggage for miles to Supai Village in the Grand Canyon, and one owner was arrested on animal cruelty charges last year.
Now, for the first time, about a dozen volunteer vets are there on a trip organized by Kellye Pinkleton, the Arizona state director at the Humane Society.
“There are horses that definitely need treatment and care. And there is not an on-site vet that is in the region. We want to help. We want to provide whatever we can, be it care, education,” says Pinkleton.
Pinkleton says they’ve brought food, medicine, and other resources. She hopes to make more trips, and continue working with tribal members. The Havasupai Council put into place new regulations last year designed to protect the animals.