Group looking to rescue horses in Hancock County

When you hear about animal rescues and strays, most of us think about dogs and cats.

But there are more and more stray horses in need of rescuing.

That's been the mission of a Nauvoo group for the past year.

KHQA's Jarod Wells went to the Double K Ranch Horse Rescue Group today to find out why these animals are in jeopardy, and how this ranch is helping.

Horses are beautiful to watch, they're also expensive to feed and care for. As the nation's economy has dropped, so has the horse economy.

Double K Ranch Horse Rescue Group Co-Founder Ryan Kohl said, "It's really fallen in the last few years due to the slaughterhouses being closed down and just due to the economy, the overall economy being down. A lot of people can't afford to take care of their horses any more."

Ryan Kohl, along with his wife, brother and an experienced horse trainer, started the Double K Ranch Horse Rescue Group in March of 2009. Even before the facility opened, they got a call about 15 horses needing to be rescued.

Kohl said, "We've seen as far away, so far, as far away as Chicago and all the way down near St. Louis as well."

Apache, an abandoned horse who came to the ranch in November of '09 from the St. Louis area, was the first horse to the ranch. And then, just three weeks ago, 9-year-old Chloe came to the ranch.

Kohl said, "Basically, what we do is, we take them in. We'll take a horse from anyone who has either found one or they are ones that no longer can afford to feed them, but their life expectancy is still pretty great, they've got a lot of life left to them."

There are about five other ranches similar to Double K. The main difference is, the others are no-kill shelters that will take any horse. Double K only takes horses that would be able to go on to a new owner.

Kohl said, "We will either rehab them if they need rehabbing or retraining. If they don't need retraining, then our ultimate goal is to find new homes, adopt them out."

Apache and Chloe are the only two horses at the Double K Ranch Horse Rescue group right now.

Kohl expects to get more soon and says this type of group is a trend that could catch on.

The Double K is run by fundraisers and donations.

If you would like to help out or want more information on the rescue group, you can reach Ryan Kohl at 217-219-0259.