MADISON, Wis. -

For 14 years Roger and his wife Shirley have been fostering horses that were once neglected. Last November they took in a horse, Rebecca, who was pregnant and severely malnourished.

“She didn’t look very thin, but that was only because she was carrying a baby,” Roger said. “Once you brushed her hair you could see her ribs.”

Shirley and Roger gave Rebecca and her foal, Robbie, a chance at a new life.

“We wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have foster care places,” said Betsey Halat, the senior adoption counselor at the Dane County Humane Society. “We would not be able to help the same amount of horses we do now, and we would have to turn a lot of people away.”

In an effort to help even more horses in southern Wisconsin, the Dane County Humane Society is hoping to build a new barn. The facility combined with foster parents would double the amount of horses that are currently taken care of.

“We are hoping that we could potentially break ground by the end of the year,” Halat said. “We are still hoping that we can reach out to the community to get more help with raising funds.”

In the meantime, the humane society is relying solely on people like Roger and Shirley to nurse horses back to health before being adopted.

The new facility could cost up to $400,000. Donations can be made online.