The Sheriff of a small western town seized several reportedly neglected animals from their pens and corrals. Needing help with their placement, he contacted a local rescue organization. The rescuers found a Jack donkey and a female goat in fair shape, a dead goat, and a sorrel mare in the corner of the pen with her head hanging down. The donkey and the goat were loaded into the trailer. It was the mare’s turn to be loaded into the vehicle. She was skin and bones, just standing there with her head very close to the ground. Severely dehydrated, Gracie’s water bucket was bone dry with the temperature registering 103 degrees. She did not have enough energy to move. By pushing and pulling with all of their strength, the rescuers managed to load her into the trailer that was just a few feet from the pen. Gracie was breathing hard. She had some type of infection in her genital area, a big bump and sore under her right eye and an abcess under her neck.
When asked about the injury to her eye, the owner’s explanation was that as they were driving down the road, the door to the trailer had somehow opened and Gracie fell out.
Safely in the trailer, Gracie was immediately taken to the vet. She is 12 to 14 years old, 16 hands tall. The abcess on her neck appeared to be from reaching over the barbed wire fence trying to get to something resembling food. The rain rot on her back is so advanced that she flinches in pain from the slightest touch. She has a body score of 1/10, and yet, with all this, she has a sweet and gentle disposition.
After a few days at the veterinary clinic, Gracie was taken to her new home at the equine rescue barn. She is now fed five small meals a day. She is still so weak that even eating wears her out. She eats a few bites, stops, and then eats a few more bites. On one occasion, she ate about half her grain and hay, drank a little water, and then came over to one of the angel rescuers sitting in a chair. She placed her wet muzzle in her lap and just stood there. Gracie’s angel loved on her and cried. She told Gracie “she would make it through this and promised her that she would never be hungry again.”
Gracie has a tough road ahead. Starvation cases are very hard to predict because the horse may seem to be doing well, but their bodies have been through so much that often complications arise down the road.
Times are hard for rescue operations. Financial help is needed to feed and medicate these cruelty cases which are increasing in numbers. Tragically, these angels of mercy have to turn away horses in need for lack of space and financial support.
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We are appealing to your kindness and sensitivity to please help Gracie survive her former owner’s abuse and neglect. With her kind and gentle eyes, if she can get enough food, medical care and love, she will have a fighting chance to ultimately find a new and permanent forever home.