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Activists meet with legislators to address Southern WV’s wild horse problem


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Tinia Creamer, founder of Heart of Phoenix, stand with a horse on top of an abandoned mine site in MIngo County.
(Heart of Phoenix courtesy photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As winter weather hits in full, Tinia Creamer worries about more than frozen pipes and icy roads. She thinks about the hundreds of wild horses roaming Southern West Virginia’s coalfields, where they will find food in the cold weather and the potential danger they can pose to the public.

When temperatures drop, these horses — hundreds in Mingo County alone, which is only a fraction compared to others living on abandoned mine sites and mountains throughout the coalfields — will often find their way into traffic, licking salt off the roads. The plants and crops that can sustain them in the spring and summer die, meaning many horses are left malnourished, said Creamer, founder of Heart of Phoenix, a West Virginia-based nonprofit dedicated to rescuing and rehabbing horses in Appalachia.

Last week, Creamer met with legislators to discuss the issue of wild horses and explore potential legislative options to help support entities like Heart of Phoenix that respond to horse-related challenges as they arise.

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