Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The world of rescue doesn't always involve seizing horses, getting on the news, cruelty cases, etc. While all of that is a big part of it, most days are spent caring for the horses. It is not all glitz and glammor to shovel manure and clean water tubs on a daily basis. That is where the volunteers play a major role in the success of a rescue.
Lately, I had to really ask for people to come forward and help because things had gotten in a lull and it seemed that most people had gotten involved with their everyday life; leaving me mostly alone to do it all. I get worried when that happens. My mind starts working overtime. I wonder what will happen to the rescue horses if PER fails? Where is everyone? Do they just not care anymore? Everyone wants us to rescue horses, but what about making sure they have adequate care now that they are not a story on the local news. People can forget that the horses are still here. They are still relying on us, not to rescue them, but to meet their daily needs. Feeding, cleaning stalls, watering, grooming, training, vet care; the list is long, but this is the reality of horse rescue.
When I asked for volunteers a month ago, I got a pretty good response. I understand that people come and go for different reasons, but for now, things are pretty good. I'm sure that in the future, I'll have to send out another SOS when necessary. Hopefully, people will understand and come forward to help if their circumstances will allow it. Until then, we'll be grateful for the help we've got. I just want to say once again, "Thank You, Volunteers". You play an integral role in the big picture of rescue.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Not long ago, I watched the movie "Secretariat". One of my favorite parts was towards the end when they played "Oh Happy Day". That song popped into my mind again today after PER was privileged to place another horse from the county impound, saving her from the sale pen and an unknown future.
Thank you Thomas for assisting in delivering Penny to a wonderful home where she will be loved and cared for. We also appreciate Sheriff Morgan for giving us the opportunity to place the horses that for one reason or another end up at the county impound and never get claimed.
This placement has special meaning, since the woman, Jolee Josephs is the one who first went with me back in December 2008 to investigate a neglect case involving this very horse! Jolee remembered it well and was quick to offer up a home after she was picked up as a stray and never claimed. Their first meeting was sweet as these photos show and also very rewarding to see Penny come full circle from a neglectful home, into the impound and finally at Forever Sky Ranch!
Another cool thing about this story is that during that investigation in 2008, there was another horse with Penny that was surrendered to PER since she was older and they no longer wanted to care for her. Lady is currently being fostered at Forever Sky Ranch by Jolee. We are excited that Lady and Penny will finally be reunited.
Horse rescue is very rewarding and I am so glad that I've been able to be a part of it. With the support of our community and the many volunteers, I hope we can have many more "Happy Days" for horses.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Today, Walker visited a dentist. He has been dropping his feed, but we had to wait until he gained enough weight to be able to handle the sedative. We transported him to Howard Finley's on Klondike Road, where several other equines were also scheduled to have their teeth done.
Panhandle Equine Rescue would like to thank Dr. Tyler Dees D.V.M., CEqDT for doing such a good job on Walker. We have used him in the past on other rescues and are quite pleased with his services. Our veterinarian, Dr. Hank Lee highly endorses him also, which is a plus. Howard Finley assists Dr. Dees on most dentals and makes it easier for the client, since he is very good at handling the horses.
If you are coming to the Ride For Rescue, this Saturday, March 26th, Dr. Dees will be there doing a demonstration. He also has the whole afternoon filled with clients, so he will be busy working at Coldwater Stables!
If you are interested in getting professional dental work done on your horse, you can call 251-802-0112 to set up an appointment. Dr. Dees provides equine dental services throughout the southeast. He also has a facebook page that is filled with lots of interesting photos and videos, as well as what areas he will be working in. Go to Facebook and enter "Performance Horse Dentistry" in the search box.
Walker, you've had quite a week, boy! I'm sure this will hasten your recovery, so hopefully by the end of Spring, you will be looking and feeling your best! Thank you, Dr. Dees!
Friday, March 11, 2011
When this horse was rescued on that cold February day, she was already in danger of dying. The veterinarian carefully examined the herd of 20 and pointed out nine that needed to be removed immediately and placed in shelter or they possibly would not survive the brutal cold temperatures along with the wind and sleet that was only going to worsen through the night. Even after she arrived at the vet clinic, we didn't know if she would survive. Her pasture mate, in the stall next to her, was in worse condition, hanging in a sling, because she was too weak to stand on her own. Sadly, she eventually had to be humanely euthanized.
After a few days, the vet told the county livestock officer that the red Arabian could go home, but after being at the impound for a short time, she got down and could not get back up. Her caretakers managed to get her back to the clinic, where she remained a few more days. On the second attempt to go home, she went down in the horse trailer and was immediately taken back to the clinic.
After a longer stay, she finally was able to leave the clinic. But, while at the impound, one of the pressure wounds on her hip busted open, leaving her vulnerable to infection. The livestock officer applied medicine to it daily.
When she arrived at PER, she was still in very bad shape. Since her survival was still questionable, we decided to keep her at our facility, instead of placing her in another home, which would have placed a huge responsibility on someone. We weren't sure if they would be able to commit to all of the extra care she would require. It was a good idea to keep her, because, sure enough, the hip wound got infected.
We were fortunate at the time, since our vet, Dr. Hank Lee, was due out that day to do yearly vaccinations on the other horses. He was able to treat her right away. He lanced the wound to drain out the infection and inserted a drainage tube. He left us with antibiotics.
Since she is an Arabian, we named her Amirah (pronounced "Ameera"), which in Arabic, means "Princess". She has a long road to recovery, but we expect she will survive and blossom to become beautiful and healthy! We will keep you updated on her progress.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
As I sit here at my computer and stare out the window at my horse grazing, I am amazed at how my life has changed since I got involved in horse rescue. My long time friend, Linda Lambert and I started this adventure in February 2005, when we realized that the horses in this county were falling through the cracks and not receiving any help when they were abused or neglected. Since then, PER has rescued 68 horses and helped hundreds of others by educating the owners or sometimes unfortunately even having them prosecuted.
For the most part, we rescue all kinds of equines including donkeys and mules, but we have also rescued pigs, goats and dogs. The system is still not perfect and we find in some situations that animals will suffer if we leave them behind because the help simply is not there on that particular day for different reasons. So since we are a rescue, our instincts kick in to help other species when necessary.
Very recently, we were involved with a case where seven dogs and four horses were seized by the county. We were glad to see them "step up", since we didn't have space for any horses at that time. It was good to see them trying to do the right thing. While the horses are still safe in the county impound, it is really sad for the dogs because the owner surrendered them to avoid paying fines and three of the dogs were euthanized by the animal shelter. We are not happy about this and we don't understand why they were destroyed. But we are thankful that the director of the animal shelter called us one morning to see if we would take the other four dogs; a mother and her three puppies out of the shelter. We knew what their fate would be if we did not "rescue" them and we were given until 6 PM that day to pick them up. Linda and I got busy calling all the dog rescues that we knew of, but either they were full or we didn't get a response back. It was during the holidays, so that may have been part of the problem. By the afternoon, we realized that we would have to pick up the dogs in order to save their lives. We had no where to house them, but were able to find a special person that was willing to keep them at his family boarding kennel. When we picked up the puppies from the animal shelter, we were told that one of the puppies had a runny nose.
A few days later, that puppy took a turn for the worst and after spending days at the vet clinic, she had to be humanely euthanized. The other two puppies began to get runny noses, so we rushed them to the clinic and got them started on antibiotics right away. They pulled through and today they were adopted by Jimmy and Melissa Brown of Pensacola, pictured on the left. They took both pups so they could be raised together. We are very grateful to the Browns for giving them both a wonderful life.
The mother dog is still at the boarding kennel, so we are desperately trying to find her a foster home. I took photos of her today and I was brought to tears when I saw how timid and shy she was. She was emaciated when she was rescued from a puppy mill, where she was being kept in a tiny cage and used for breeding. She is still thin, but gaining weight slowly. The puppies are weaned, so that should help her get to her normal weight. Animals can be so forgiving and she is no exception. As she crouched and shivered, she looked up at me and halfway gave me a kiss. Her eyes were empty; she has never learned what love is or gotten any kindness from humans.
I wish I had space for her at my home. I hated leaving her at the kennel. They do a good job caring for her physical needs, but they don't have the time to socialize her to people. Dog rescue is new to me and while horses are my passion, my heart breaks for this special dog. I understand the ins and outs of why people can't foster or adopt horses; there are so many reasons, but I am not sure of the many reasons why people can't foster or adopt a dog. I know my reasons, I have too many responsibilities already, with four dogs, four cats and six horses to care for, my time is limited. Maybe someone will care enough to give this dog the love that she deserves. Maybe I will find that the world of dog rescue has it's rewards also. So, as I stare out my window watching my horse graze, I wait. I wait for that phone call or email from someone to open up their heart and home to help this dog, who deserves a chance. I know that certain someone will respond.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Since Natalie has started working with the rescues doing Natural Horsemanship, I have learned that there are several "games" that you can play with them, such as the yo yo game, the porcupine game, etc. I have also learned that you can understand how horses think just by watching them interact in their herd. Every horse exhibits behaviors that make up its "Horsenality". He can be a left brain extrovert or introvert or a right brain extrovert or introvert. Some horses can switch over from left brain to right brain in an instant. It sounds complicated I know. But as I watch the horses, it makes more and more sense to me everyday.
Two of our rescues, Our Man and Lucky, both geldings, are turned out together every day. A natural horsemanship trainer would label Our Man as a "leader" and Lucky would be considered "dominant". Yes, in a herd, there is a difference. You really need to take the time to study this, it is so interesting.
It is amazing to watch Our Man and Lucky interact in the pasture. Neither one of them really want to "give up" their status. To mix a leader with a dominant horse can be very educational, as well as entertaining. These two are really good buddies and they tolerate each other so well. All day long, they battle over who is going to move who or which one is going to get that pile of hay or stand at the gate to come in at feeding time. It makes me laugh to watch them. They never make physical contact, but the language they use with their bodies and facial expressions have really taught me how the relationship should be between human and horse. Watching Our Man "drive" Lucky and then Lucky moving Our Man from the water trough is hilarious. These two would be an asset to any herd in the wild. They are both kind of special around the rescue facility too.