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West Brookfield Horse Rescue Shuts Down After Online Criticism

WEST BROOKFIELD (CBS) -- A non-profit horse rescue is shutting down. Online criticism may be to blame.

At Blue Star Farm in West Brookfield, the owners started rescuing horses years ago. Now, they have 28.

They are mostly draft horses that spent their lives working. Most pulled carriages, some were in police mounted units and some worked in fields. So in retirement, their new owners at Blue Star made sure the horses continued to work.

But some animal rights groups disagreed, saying the horses should simply run free. So the groups slammed the farm on Facebook, managing to convince the social media giant to remove the farm's page, which is how they raise money to support the animals.

Blue Star Farm in West Brookfield. (WBZ-TV)

With no money, the farm owners are being forced to find new homes for the horses, and it hurts the owners and the volunteers.

"A lot of these horses have kind of become my family," said Blue Star volunteer Cliff Atwood. "A lot of people ask me 'do I have a favorite?' Not really. I love them all."

The owners have found new homes for about half the horses, but are struggling to find new places for the rest.

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