After a year without rain in Texas, coupled with rocketing temperatures, crops have been sparse and the price of a bale of hay has doubled.
The effect on the horse population has been devastating. The number of animals being abandoned is ten times greater than in previous years, according to Richard Fincher of Safe Haven Equine Rescue in Gilmer, in east Texas.
Mr Fincher said: 'We get 20 to 40 calls a week that horses are alongside the road and left; nobody's claimed them. Sheriffs are calling us all the time.'