THE STORY OF SPIRIT
We received a call from a friend of the Refuge about a pony who was discovered lying in a field for days on end without food or water. We set out immediately on the two-hour drive with our old horse trailer and some supplies. We met our friend, Joyce at the scene. There we found the pony lying flat out on the ground, shaking uncontrollably and sporadically kicking his feet out in spasms. He was between broken-down cars in a scrap yard and there was no food or water in sight. My husband Bob, who left work to assist me, helped roll the pony onto a blanket. The pony was so emaciated; the three of us were able to carry him into the horse trailer. There we warmed him with straw, blankets and hot water bottles. Unable to find a vet to come to the scene to assess the pony’s condition, we decided to take him home immediately, where he could get prompt medical treatment.
By the time we arrived home this young pony's spirit had definitely perked up. He was thawing out. The vet arrived soon after and began various treatments to bring him around. He was severely malnourished and dehydrated. The vet informed us that his situation was touch-and-go and that we would have to wait and see how he reacted to the treatments within the next 24 hours. We would know by morning.... This was a heart-wrenching situation. Our children and other family members were on hand to help see this little guy through. The children named him Spirit.
After an all-night vigil the vet returned for a re-assessment. She concluded that Spirit was not going to make it, as he had developed gangrene in his legs and would not recover. He was suffering greatly and the kindest thing we could do would be to euthanize him. So, with a belly full of warm feed and bathed in love, his spirit was released.
This type of tragic suffering from neglect happens all too often and rarely can anything be done about it. No one is held accountable. The owners of this pony received no fine and no charges were laid against them. Laying charges is too expensive for the SPCA when laws will not back them up.
If you feel shocked and upset, reach for the phone and call your local government rep. Ask for laws with teeth, someday, we might get them!
THE STORY OF MAGIC
We received an anonymous phone call from a concerned citizen regarding a pony. When we arrived we found two ponies on an unfenced back lot, close to a highway. One pony was tied up with a chain, which was embedded in the top of his head and he was smelling of infection. The other pony appeared to be blind and was running around loose. The tied stallion charged at us as we tried to approach either one of them. The police quickly gave the okay to seize them. We had to cut the chain at the far end and coax the stallion into the truck. In the meantime, the mare was running around hysterically, trying to find her son. His voice led her to the trailer.
Once the ponies were taken to the Refuge, a vet proceeded to do emergency surgery on the stallion to remove the chain. Under anesthetic she had to cut more than two inches into his neck. It had been left for so long that the flesh had grown right through the links of the chain. Each section had to be cut and freed separately. After about two hours he was truly free. He then needed weeks of antibiotics and special treatment to help the wound heal.
Magic fully recovered
The owner was fined a mere $250.00 for this offense and is not allowed to own a pet for 2 years. By court order the ponies were placed in the Refuge's permanent custody.
Magic will live out the rest of his life in our green fields, free and happy with our other equine residents.
Kiara, the mare was not as fortunate. After successfully rescuing her, we wanted to give her a long, comfortable and safe retirement. But shockingly, she died soon after her arrival, as a result of what should have been a routine veterinary checkup. It was a horrible experience for everyone involved and will haunt us for a long time to come.