LAGRANGE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For Ellie Troutman, caring for horses is more than just a labor of love. It's a livelihood.

"This is something that is very important. I take very serious," she told WHAS11.

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She's the owner of Windy Meadows, an emergency equine center in LaGrange that took in 14 neglected horses from the Bedford home of Marlena Robinson a year ago. Nineteen other horses were found dead on the property.

"To be a caretaker of horses for 35 years, to have to walk over the carnage to get to the ones that were emaciated, was probably one of the hardest things," Troutman said.

However, time may heal some wounds. Troutman was able to treat all 14 and the three foals that were born in the months that followed.

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One horse named June was in the worst shape, according to Troutman. She was even thinking about putting her down, but she pulled through.

Troutman says state lawmakers also pulled through in their efforts to strengthen the state's animal abuse laws, including passing legislation requiring those who are convicted to pay full restitution. Robinson was ordered to pay Troutman $5,000, the cost of rehabilitation, Troutman said, that covered only one horse.

She's hoping the change in law may change the way people care for their animals.

"Seek help. It's out there. I promise."

Robinson was given two years of probation and cannot own an animal for another year.

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