SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- In a barn in Shelbyville are seven new horses, fresh off an 18-hour drive from the Lone Star State to the Bluegrass State.
"After that long of a drive, sometimes it's hard to tell their real personalities right away," Mary Rose Cissell, the owner of Dark Horse Training Center, said. "You can tell they're all happy to be standing in a nice stall and they get to take naps and drink lots of water now."
The seven horses arrived Thursday morning, brought over by the Kentucky Humane Society to the Dark Horse Training Center after they were approached by the Houston SPCA to help clear space for other horses impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
"Well, this is the horse capital of the world. We have an equine program," Lori Redmon, the president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society, said. "A lot of humane organizations don't take in equines. They can't. They don't have the ability to hold and house them."
"We usually do stay rather local," Cissell, who also serves as the Humane Society's equine manager, said. "We help the horses here in Kentucky mostly, but this is the first one we've had of this size."
The Kentucky Humane Society has already taken in more than 100 animals from hurricane-affected areas in Texas and Florida, most of them dogs and cats. Redmon said all the animals brought to Kentuckiana were marked by the local shelters as those that had been surrendered or already up for adoption, in order to make space for the pets that would be lost in the storms looking for their owners.
"We think it's our responsibility to help in times of crisis, whether it's happening right here in Kentucky or across the country."
According to Redmon, two of the horses brought in had been taken by the Houston SPCA in a cruelty seizure case two years earlier. Redmon said the seven horses will be looked at by Humane Society workers, who will give riding and training assessments and medical examinations.
"It's still always a little bit challenging to get to know seven different personalities in a short amount of time, but it's fun," Cissell said. "It's a fun challenge."
Once they've cleared the examinations, the horses will be put up for adoption. Redmon said the earliest the horses could be available for adoption is next week.
The Kentucky Humane Society is also running an adoption special for dogs and cats that have been brought in from the hurricane areas. Those pets will have their adoption fee waived. For more information on adoptions or becoming a foster, check the Humane Society's website.