Tuff

Tuff
Tuff
A horse rescue receives a call from the local Police Department asking if they would pick up a horse in need. When the volunteers pull up, they can hardly believe their eyes.  This poor animal is a walking skeleton.   He is loaded up, as well as his best friend Chocolate, the goat, and is now safe at the rescue.

Tuff
Click images to enlarge.
Tuff was purchased by a man and his wife and placed on a relativeís property. While the manís mother took care of him, Tuff was a fat and happy horse. In the last year, the mother had some medical problems.   She is now wheel chair bound and is unable to go out to the pen.  She relinquished the responsibility of caring for the horse to her son.  He did so for a short time and then stopped.  Tuff looked to be at deathís door when someone called the police.  Animal Control and the police were present when the couple surrendered Tuff to the rescue organization.

Added to the weight loss, he has bald spots caused by severe rain rot.  He has sores along his spine caused by malnutrition.  His back is so sensitive that the slightest touch almost sends him to the ground.  His back legs have wounds and scars.  His mane and tail are wispy.  His hair has fallen out.  His skin has become paper thin.  The flies have attacked him ferociously which have caused open sores over his body.  He is given medicated baths and an insecticidal spray in between baths.  He is either kept under a fly sheet and mask or a thin blanket at all times.  Tuff was not sure about the sheet at first, but then decided it wasnít too bad.

TuffTuff Tuff
This poor animal has very little drive to eat right now.  He is so weak that he can only eat 4-5 bites of hay and has to take a break because just chewing tires him out.   He is on a re-feeding program designed by UC Davis Emaciated Horse Diet.  He gets fed very small meals of high quality alfalfa six times a day with the amount slowly increased at each meal and the number of feedings decreased gradually over 10 days.  Tuff will be introduced to grains, a fat builder, and some extra vitamins very carefully to avoid metabolic problems.  The difficult task of bringing a horse back to good health may take 3 to 6 months under the most stringent supervision.  Each horse must be evaluated and placed on an individualized nutrition plan.  Some horses may not survive, especially for a horse, like Tuff, who has lost over 50% of his body weight.

Tuff
One morning shortly after his arrival, Tuff stopped eating.  He was taken to the vet where he had an ultrasound.  It showed a gut that was very inflamed and irritated probably due to ulcers.  He was prescribed a medication to coat his stomach to be given before each feeding.  He was also administered a shot of vitamins and B12.  Tuff has a lot more energy now.  When he arrived at the rescue he could barely move and now he knickers when his caretakers approach him and comes up to the fence to greet them.

How can anyone have such total disregard for life to let a beautiful and innocent animal die from starvation?  Such disrespect for a living creature?  How can one not feel remorseful for such an act?   Where is the compassion?  This nine year old horse will hopefully survive this ordeal only because someone alerted the police.  Please, if you ever witness an animal abuse situation, make it your responsibility to report it to the police, or the sheriffís department, the Humane Society, the SPCA or call 911.  You are that animalís voice.  You may be his only hope.  You are his life line.

Tuff
Tuff has a long road ahead to achieve a complete recovery.  The focus will be on nutritious food, medication and exercise.  The bills are adding up.  This is a small rescue group that does excellent work rehabbing horses.  Letís help them save more abused and abandoned horses.

Please donate generously.
Click Here to Make a Donation

Check for updates on Tuff and other Spotlight Stories on the Spotlight Animal Updates page!