Rescued Cadott horses now available for adoption

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Nearly one month after seven horses were first rescued from a Cadott farm, ten more were taken this week and all are now available for adoption.

Horse-loving volunteers gathered at an Eau Claire farm Thursday to help the 17 rescued horses prepare for adoption.

"The horses are going through an assembly line, get their age, breed, sex, do coggins and note any issue they know about the horse, and that's the final step in getting these horses ready for adoption, Refuge Farms horse rescue executive director Sandy Gilbert said.

She and others said they had been waiting for this day.

Seven of the horses were taken last month from Betty Damerow's Cadott farm, when she had at least 36 horses and nearly 40 dogs that she could no longer care for.

"She was trying to save lives with good intentions and it just got out of control," Gilbert said.

With Damerow now down to about 10 horses, Gilbert said she's happy with the progress, but also wants to find homes for five more.

With about 30 interested in adopting the Cadott horses, and Baldwin veterinarian Brian Kersten offering free testing and exams, all involved said it's a rare opportunity to find many homes.

"There's a few that are on the thin side, but most are in pretty good condition and are not too terribly wild which is nice considering the circumstances," Dr. Brian Kersten said.

"It's important and these horses have an opportunity, a chance to get a home and they can't unless we do the work," Kersten said.

"We don't have animals that show us if you raise your hand at them, we don't have any animals doing this. So no one was beat about the head," Gilbert said.

"People stepping up to adopt these horses has surprised me, and caused me great joy."

For information on how to adopt the horses, contact Refuge Farms of Spring Valley, Wisconsin at (715) 772-3379 or e-mail To adopt a dog from the Cadott farm, contact Shelter from the Storm at (608) 284-7447.

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