Inmates Help Heal Starved Horses

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WOODBINE, MD - Some starved horses are recovering at a Maryland Rescue Center with the help of inmates.

The 26 horses were rescued from the brink of starvation at a Garrett County Farm in late May.

"Many of them probably have 300-400 pounds to gain to get back to a normal weight," says Kathy Howe, Executive Director of Days End Farm Horse Rescue.

Howe and her husband founded Days End 21 years ago. Volunteers have always helped keep the place running, and now a group of inmates are doing the same.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services partnered with the rescue. Now six non-violent female prisoners lend a helping hand a few days a week, under the supervision of a correctional officer.

"It's a good opportunity for us to help communities and non-profits, and it's a good opportunity for those offenders to give something back to the community," says DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.

The inmates give back through landscaping, grounds maintenance and caring for the abused horses. In return, the horses help the women turn their lives around.

"I think it's a good program because for someone who has been abused or who has been through any kind of hardship or any kind of hurting and pain, this will be a way to relieve the stress that you are going through.," says inmate Tynisha Walker.

"Being here, knowing that I'm helping them for a good cause, it makes me feel like I'm giving something back. I'm giving something back, so I know that something will be given to me," explains inmate Whitney Neal.

The group of prisoners are at the end of their sentences, but share a special bond with the horses.

Days End expects to have the horses for at least six more months.