Last year the state saw a record number of horse owners surrending their animals. Officials say this year isn’t shaping up to be much better. Many of the horses seized by the state go to rescues located across Maine, but even rescue owners are finding it hard to make ends meet. This week the Last Chance Ranch in Troy, a horse rescue that’s saved more than thirty horses during the past six years has had to close it’s doors. Owner, Cathy Mesaric says the farm is in debt from running the ranch, coupled with the fact that Mesaric has had to deal with recent medical issues have forced her to make the decision to close. Mesaric says it was a very difficult choice, but she says she’ll continue to help other rescues fulfill their mission. Double B Equine Rescue in Industry took seven of Mesaric’s horses when Last Chance closed. Double B is now at full capacity with twenty-two horses. Double B owner, Brenda Green says some of the animals were seized by the state and then brought to her. State animal welfare director, Norma Worley says many seizures are voluntary from horse owners who can’t afford their animals any longer. Rescue owners like Green and Mesaric say there’s more to the problem then not being able to pay the bills though. The women say people are contributing to the overpopulation of horses because they are trying to rescue animals from out of state. Green says, “Not that every horse doesn’t have to be rescued that’s the whole thing we want to rescue every horse we can, but the priority is the ones right here first.” Mesaric agrees with Green and adds that breeding is also an issue. Worley doesn’t disagree that overpopulation is a problem, but she says it’s not the biggest concern. However, for rescues that are still trying to make ends meet it’s a concern owners say should be a priority too. For more information on the Double B Equine Rescue and their mission click here.