"This is absolute common sense. You'd have to be blind not to see that this animal has been starved," she said.
She described the stud as a walking skeleton; his rib cage and hip bones visibly sticking out.
The stud belongs to Jimmy Crump of Hoke County. After receiving a tip from a neighbor, McCarthy found the horse on Crump's property and decided to take him home to care for him.
"I was horrified," McCarthy said. "I got back in my vehicle and told my girlfriend something needs to be done."
Crump declined WRAL's request for an interview.
McCarthy operates a private rescue service in Fayetteville for horses across the country. She called on veterinarian Dr. Matthew Frazier of the Animal Hospital of Fayetteville to examine the horse.
Frazier called it a possible case of animal abuse, and that the horse was obviously mistreated and extremely underweight.
According to Frazier, the horse, which weighs 565 pounds, should weigh at least 800 pounds.
McCarthy said she tried to get help from Hoke County Animal Control, but was unsuccessful. She hopes others in the community will lend their support.
"To spark some awareness that this happens everywhere," she said.
The horse faces a long road to recovery. McCarthy said that it will take 8 months to a year for the horse to get up to a healthy weight.
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