11/28/2012 05:30 EST | Updated 01/28/2013 05:12 EST

N.S. rescue farm accused of neglecting horses

A group of horse enthusiasts is accusing a rescue farm in Onslow Mountain, N.S., of neglecting horses.

The group claims at least one horse from Dusty Lane Farm has died in the last 24 hours due to malnutrition.

Angela Beairstro and Sherri Hamilton paid the farm $1,800 yesterday to take three horses from the property. One of the horses, Abby, died 10 hours after being moved.

"Her temperature was through the roof," said Hamilton. "She didn't want to pick up her head. She just wanted to lay there and die."

Hamilton said she saw Abby in September and described her as a beautiful horse. She was shocked when she saw her on Tuesday.

"I was looking at her going, 'that's not the horse I was drooling over, that can't be her.'"

Hamilton said it was heartbreaking.

"Her heart was just racing and it was just not good. She wouldn't drink, she wouldn't eat. We couldn't even get her to drink warm water, which usually if the horses are cold or whatever they'll drink warm water, but nothing."

"For somebody to go through this, knowing that they sent this horse there, thinking that this is a safe place for them to be is ridiculous," said Beairstro.

Jana Hemphill also took a horse named Walnut from Dusty Lane this week to her own rescue farm in Brookfield, P.E.I.

"His primary condition is that he's malnourished," said Hemphill. "He's starving basically, starving to death is what he was. So number 1, he has to get more groceries but you have to do that really carefully."

Owner releases statement

Sherri Grant, the owner of Dusty Lane Farm, refused to do an interview but released a statement.

"The Department of Agriculture has made two visits to the property and we will continue to work within their guidelines," it said. "The Department of Agriculture has found no serious violations of the Farm Animal Standard of Care Act."

The Department of Agriculture confirmed it has asked the farm to improve shelter for the horses, and it will follow up at a later date. It said all eight horses on the farm are in good condition and there have been no seizures or orders at the farm.