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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Management at an Illinois horse rescue farm says they were cheated out of the hay they purchased to feed their animals all winter. Now they are desperate for help.

Happy Hooves Equine Rescue in Edwardsville is caring for 24 horses at the moment. But after buying what was supposed to be good hay to last the winter, CEO Mary Evans says she was duped and needs help immediately.

“We just got baited and switched. We picked the hay we wanted, we bought the entire field, and (moldy hay) is what was delivered to us,” she said.

Horses can die from eating moldy hay. Now, Mary and Happy Hooves need to raise between $10,000 and $14,000 to buy hay to feed the horses this winter.

“The money we allocated for hay is sitting in the hay. We don’t have any more cash,” Evans said.

At Happy Hooves, staffers rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home unwanted, abused, neglected, and abandoned horses. These horses are from all across the country, including Sam, who was a rescue from Hurricane Katrina, and Bert, who was a champion racer at one point in his life.

“It’s a sad thing. I know how people feel with their kids and trying to feed them. My four-leggers are my kids,” Evans said.

These horses are available for adoption whether you’re looking for your first horse or have owned them in the past.

“We’re trying to see if there anyone out there that can help us,” Evans said.