Friday, December 26, 2008

A Different Sort of Rescue Story

Unfortunately agencies that rescue horses are not always in it for the horses. This is one of those stories. I am not telling this story to cause harm to legitimate horse rescues. Stories like this need to be told to protect the honest rescues. When rescues like the one here are allowed to continue to function they suck up funds and kill support for the dedicated people who really deserve them. The story I am telling is all part of public record. It has been documented in the press and in court proceedings.

I want to warn people up front. These videos are graphic.

I've been wanting to write about this rescue story for a while. Ever since I first heard about the plight of this Arabian stallion I couldn't help but care. Then the system that was supposed to be protecting the horse managed to be manipulated with the horse getting caught in the crossfire. That made the Arabian horse's story all the more compelling.

Since I know the woman who ultimately saved this horse I have had somewhat of an inside seat since this whole process started. I've been hoping for more specific details to do an informed post. However, this first video was recently posted to YouTube so I figure it's best to just go with what I know. There's much more to this story than the video tells.

This rescue all began late in the evening on Dec 31 of last year. My friend got a call from county authorities asking her if she had room at her horse boarding facility to take a couple of recue horses that were in dire need.

My friend immediately arose to the challenge, hooked up her horse trailer and went to pick up the horses. With her teenage daughter, they arrived at the designated location to meet the sherriff and a veterinarian.

There was a small band of horses out in several paddocks in deep mud. The smell was atrocious. The horses were covered with mud, manure and urine and they were eating whatever wood they could find. These horses were so hungry they were even seen eating their own feces.

The vet had determined that two of the horses were in such dire condition they would not survive if not seized immediately. The other horses would have to wait for the slow wheels of the system to grind to get the court orders it would take to seize them as well.

The two horses seized were a bay Arabian stallion grossly underweight with a badly infected penis. It was clear from the extent of the infection this condition had been ongoing for some time. The horse's penis was so inflammed and swollen the horse was incapable of retracting it. In addition the organ was oozing blood and pus.

The second horse was a malnourished Appaloosa (possibly mixed) foal that the neighbors thought was about 5 months old. It was impossible to determine age due to the stunted stature of the colt. Not only was the animal extremely underweight but he had very substantial angular limb deformities. This foal was still nursing from his mother who was also in dire straights but since the authorities wouldn't let both animals be seized, the foal was taken hoping the mare would rally without the drain of a nursing foal.

The two horses were carefully loaded up and taken back to Creekwood Farm, the facility of my friends. The next morning both horses were inspected by another veterinarian and the long process of their recovery began.

While these two horses were getting loving care, the plight of the other horses came to a virtual standstill. The neighbors who had been complaining about the plight of these horses, final took desperate steps and posted this second video on YouTube.

As you can tell by what's said in the first video there is a lot more story to tell about the rescue of these horses. As much as I hate to say this..........

This story is to be continued..............................

Part 2

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  1. I heard about this one too. With as many rescues as I've done, it just kills me when a 501 does something like this. I bust my butt taking care of the rescues we get, by myself, out of my own pocket, and to see a so-called 'horse rescue' who gets donations and volunteers drop the ball so totally just fries me.

    The beginning details are out there, the ending is also known, but it's the inbetween that most aren't aware of. I'll be patiently (ok sort of) waiting for your next post.

  2. I can't believe it took the authorities so long to take action or the vet that said there was not enough suffering to warrant action. These horses were in dire straits and needed help immediately.
    As for phony rescue operations I've seen a few get away with this reprehensible behavior and nobody does anything about it, even though they have been investigated. How can you profess to care about horses and run a rescue then treat horses like this! What's wrong with people anyway. I hope there is a special place reserved in hell for them.
    That poor Arabian stallion, looked so sad and in pain, but what a good boy, the treatments had to be painful. I'll be waiting to see what happened to the little guy.

  3. *exhales loudly*

    I was holding my breath as I was certain Valor had been euthed at the end.

    Thank God he found a home to take care of him.

  4. I can't imagine having my backyard look like that let alone having animals in a backyard looking like that. Then on top of that, those poor horses. It really amazes me what people think are "ok". I am glad the stallion got rescued and is looking so much better. Amazing what some food and brushing will do. He is a beautiful horse.

  5. LOC, I'll see if I can get as many of those details as possible in that I can. There's been so much along the way.

    Grey Horse, I understand your frustration. I can assure you the first vet who gave the order to seize the 2 horses was just as frustrated by having to leave part of the horses behind. However, he had guidelines he had to follow and was stuck with that. The rest of the horses didn't meet the standards set to seize horses without a court order. His hands were tied. To go against those guidelines would have made an illegal seizure and that would have put all of these horses beyond protection by the law.

    Just as we see in criminal law where illegal activity by the police lets criminals off scott free, the same would have applied here. If they had not gone within the guidelines of the law, these owners would not have been able to be prosectued and would have retained all rights to their horses. So as sad as it is,these horses had to stay in those awful condition until the wheels of justice got greased enough to take them as determined by the law.

    Holly, Valor is alive and well except for issues still with his penis. He is a lucky horse that he found a special family to fight so fiercely for him or who knows what would have happened to him.

    Andrea, these animals were not in the backyard of the owners. They were being kept on seperate lots away from the owners residence. Those people did not have to look at this atrocity every day, all day. The neighbors did and they complained about the plight of these horses for 4 years before the country took action.

  6. OMG, that poor horse! To be rescued, receive love and care, start to feel better, then to be sent off to be neglected again. :-( I'm so glad for him that he was able to be rescued again. So sad that he and so many others have to suffer like this.

  7. Valor is an amazing horse! his story is shocking, and had me bawling for 5 minutes. And what a transformation.. from the sad sack with a hurt pack, to the end result where he looks amazing and is tossing his head and running... he looks like he couldn't be happier, that he lived through what he lived through. That is shocking the conditions he was living in, but in the end result was amazing.

    I had to watch it twice to understand Hope for Horses dropped the ball, and that they DID rescue Valor twice! Valor is an amazing horse.

  8. Dang!!! That makes you wanna' take em out back and give 'em a dose of their own poor treatment (FOR how many YEARS???)!!!
    I too have rescued some...some successful...some not. It makes me so frustrated I want to....UUURRRGGG!!!
    Sadly, some of these horses may not make it just from the mud & dirt they've ingested trying to find something to satisy their hunger.

  9. These videos made me want to drive back down to the barn and hug my mare one more time today. I just don't understand people.

  10. Completely disgusting. I cannot BELIEVE anyone would think that penis was ok. That's a HORRIBLE infection there.
    So glad they've been rescued, all of them. I think we need to revamp some of these guidelines so that horses don't have to get to that point to be rescued. This "wait till they're falling down dying" isn't cutting it.
    The mud was unreal. We don't get much rain here, but when we do, I let my horses in smaller pens OUT in my yard for the day so they don't have to stand in that crap. Plus it dries up quicker if a horse isn't slopping thru it.
    It just turns my stomach to see stuff like that. I would have raised hell and then some if that was in my neighborhood.

  11. Oh MiKael this is such an obsession in my life at the moment as you well know, I am dreading hearing the rest of the story but so glad to see the stallion doing so wll, what a beautiful majestic boy! ow a veterinarian could not conclude that he was in pain and suffering as a result makes me want to inflict the same on him and see how he feels!!!!

    I realy believe that what goes around comes around, it may take time but it will eventually do so and that is the only comfort I can take in it when these heartless people get away with these atrocities.

  12. i probably shouldn't be watching this at work since now i'm sitting at my desk crying. i have a feeling the rest of this story is going to make me angry, but i have to know how this was allowed to happen.