A protest over three sick horses in Waterford has drawn some political attention.

Toby Barrett, the MPP of Haldimand-Norfolk visited the property to speak to protestors.

On Tuesday, he took their petition to Queen’s Park.

“There’s a perceived lack of funding, I hope they’re not using large animals like horses as a bit of a bargaining tool, and quite honestly I don’t know whether the OSPCA has asked the Ontario government for additional funding,” Barrett said.

He said he has been in contact with the ministry that oversees that funding.

Brenda Thompson works with Whispering Hearts Horse Sanctuary and was at the property on Monday.

“I want to see things change in Ontario, I want the provincial government to take a look at what the animal protection is in Ontario,” she explained.

The protest began after photos of three horses on the property began circulating on social media.

“I didn’t think it was going to go this far, but I was definitely at my wit’s end with nothing being done and these horses were going to die,” said Natalie Tupper, who took the photos.

The Ontario SPCA said it was aware of the situation, and had been to see the animals several times.

“Ongoing action is being taken to help these animals,” the OSPCA said. “The society would like to reassure the public that we have been out to visit the animals several times and have addressed any concerns reported.”

“We recognize the pictures shared on social media of the horses are concerning,” the statement goes on. “The horses involved are sick and have been under ongoing veterinary care. Whenever we have visited the property to address concerns brought forward, the owners have always worked well with us to ensure the animals are getting the care they require. The horses have always had food, water and shelter available to them when we have visited the property.”

One of the horses was euthanized by a veterinarian over the weekend.

“Speaking to the homeowner, I was advised that the horse has been ill for quite some time and that, he indicated that the horse was supposed to be euthanized as of Thursday,” said Const. Ed Sanchuk.

Thompson gained access to the two remaining horses on Monday night with the permission of the homeowner.

“The horses were in the garage when I went in, there were two stalls, they could turn around in the stalls—they’re not overly small. They had bedding, they had water, they had hay,” Thompson said.

She brought the horses blankets to help keep them warm.

The OSPCA declined further comment on Tuesday.

They referred inquiries to a video statement that indicates they are working with the animals’ owners, and say the horses are under vet care and have adequate food, shelter and water.