Belmont County Hoof and Paw helping animals
Group raises $4K for horse hurt by dogs
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County’s newest humane group, Belmont County Hoof and Paw, has been active in the cause of helping injured or at-risk livestock in the past months. Julie Larish, who owns a farm in Jacobsburg, is spearheading the group and said the members are seeking training to assist county officials.
“We are sending some of our members up to the state for (Ohio Peace Officers) training,” she said. “We’ll be sending six people up for the … training in June, and then after that, if I have more people interesting in becoming evidence collectors or an assistant humane agent under us, we will be sending them up for training in September.
“We will also be doing some training on-site for how to be around cows and horses and pigs and goats safely, because when they’re rescued they’re not normal. So if they want to contact us, they can contact us. We’re on Facebook. We can get them into the group and get the training started.”
Larish added her group is willing to work with the county and with the Belmont County Animal Rescue League.
“It doesn’t matter to us, as long as animals are taken care of,” she said, adding that the group currently has 22 members, many with livestock backgrounds.
“Our group is right now mainly farmers and livestock owners,” she said, adding that the group is growing. “We do rescues.”
Most recently, the group has helped raise funds to treat a horse owned by Joe Arigoni of Holloway. The horse was attacked by two neighboring dogs, which are believed to be pit bulls, in February.
“We rushed it to (Ohio State University) and collected $4,300,” Larish said. “They told us it would $400 to $500 down, and Mr. Arigoni didn’t have the funds, so BCHP raised the money to get her up there, then once we got her up there and understood how much care she was going to need, we were able to put together thousands of dollars. We reached out to a lot of our members’ families and we raised about $4,300 for her care.”
She said the initial care was at OSU, and local veterinarian Harold Kemp continued the treatment.
“Reba is the horse that was mutilated by pit bulls. We’ve been doctoring her at my place and she’s almost completely healed. She’s done a miraculous time, healing,” Larish said. “Two pit bulls were let out of (a neighbor’s) house without any guidance. … I received a call Friday morning asking if I could transport.”
Larish said while the horse is recovering, she will never be ridden again. The horse continues to have lasting emotional harm.
“She’s still leery of dogs. She’s picked up a lot of bad habits because she kicks where she never used to kick before, but that’s because it’s in reaction to anything that’s at her back end. That’s how they got her down. They pulled her back legs out from under her … once they got her down, they went for her throat. They literally chewed off the underneath of her chin.”
“The horse is doing real good now,” Arigoni said. “Julie, she helped me out a good bit. I really appreciate her and all the donations. … I was out there when the dogs went out. … I just happened to look out and saw the one dog lunge.
“I went out there and yelled at them. … and the one took off. The other was still on the side of her face. He let go. I yelled at him a few times and he probably went 10 feet and he looked at me. I thought he was going to come after me, but he didn’t. I yelled and both of them took off. She’s kind of a little skittish around other dogs now.”
Larish said after ward one pit bull was taken to the shelter the other pit bull was released to a friend of the owner. Both pit bulls were neutered.
“They are both very friendly pit bulls towards people but they were unfamiliar with other animals and therefore cannot be trusted around other types of animals,” Larish said.
“They’re trying to rehabilitate them or something,” Arigoni said. “I don’t want to see them put down, because I’m kind of an animal person. I know if they can’t rehabilitate them, you’ve got to do something.”
Larish added another project is rounding up cows that have been running loose in Maynard for the past seven years.
“We trying to get them captured because the farmers are irritated with them being up there and they belong to nobody at this time. So we’re trying to get them. … They’re up in the hills … just running loose, cows at large.”
The group can be reached at 610-314-5203, though the Hoof and Paw Facebook site, or through BCHP Inc on Facebook.