Did You Ever Wonder Where They Came From??

The death of their owner left them in the care of a family member who either didn't know or care how to take proper care of them. They existed with infrequent feeding, hoof and medical care for years. The property they lived on also suffered neglect. The once cute barn became filled to the brim with uncleaned stalls and thousands of empty cat food cans. Once the horses could no longer use it, the under house garage became their shelter.

It was also a scary place for horses, with metal, glass, wood, wire, and lawn mowing equipment to share it with. The fences were in deplorable shape, with some chain link wire sinking down the poles and curling upwards inside their paddock. The height of the sunken fence added with the snowdrifts made it possible for them to walk over the area. With 6 or more inches of sharp rusty wire pointing to the sky on their side, it was a horrible accident waiting to happen. Well an accident did happen, and no one knows for sure how. No one saw or heard it so speculation remains.

The caregiver found the quarter horse, on the lawn in shock. The wound was enormous, the blood loss incredible. It looked as if his shoulder had been scalped. The wound covered the entire scapula from the withers to about the third rib area. The flap of muscle and skin was ripped backwards and was almost to the bone.

The caregiver did call a vet who came immediately and worked feverishly to stitch the wound and treat the horse's shock. The caregiver was given all necessary information on after care and medications and instructions she needed to take care of him. The vet set up an appointment in a week to recheck the wound and told the caregiver to call if she had any questions or concerns.

Now remember the barn is unusable, so where did she put him? In an abandoned office room attached to a kennel building! Inside was a desk, an air conditioner hanging from the window, broken chairs, an old rusty metal file cabinet and electrical cords hanging from the walls. She placed a wire grate in front of the door and left. The horse existed in pain in this room, with no care of his wound and none of his prescribed meds. The vet arrived for his check up to find him there, with all of his meds unopened outside the door and his wound abscessed and ripped open and profusely draining. The only bedding the horse had was manure, and it clung to his wound. Surprisingly he had survived again. That says something for his heart! The caregiver was no where around. At about this time, a neighbor, after seeing the ghastly sight, called to complain about the situation as she had seen the horse hanging out of the office doorway and walked over to visit him. We then also received an official complaint from the vet's office as their hands were tied, but he had grave concerns about this horse's life and safety. We called the proper authorities and immediately began the legal procedures for seizure.

The caregiver gave up ownership of the quarter horse and 2 ponies she was also caring for. The 2 ponies were elderly stallions that were fed once a week by dumping 50 pounds of grain and a bale of hay inside the garage. One was grossly obese and the other so thin that it appeared to be near death. Sadly, he was humanely destroyed a few weeks later as he could not be saved. The scheduled removal of these animals took a lot of calls, looking for someone to foster 2 stallion ponies and a horribly injured and sick horse. We managed to get the horse safely into his foster barn and clean up of his wound started. It took three people and a vet more than three hours to carefully clean the putrid debris from his entire shoulder and upper leg. The wound flap was debrided and we needed to reach underneath it to clean out the manure and puss that had dried up there. The drains that had so carefully been placed, hung uselessly and old suture material needed to be removed. All through this, the horse only flinched and quivered a few times. Never did he try to kick, bite or leave. What a guy!!!!

After many, many months, a surgery and many, many dollars, the horse has healed and been adopted into a wonderful home. The remaining pony has been gelded after finally loosing some weight and remains in our care waiting for his forever home.

The expenses incurred by these 3 horses and all of the other horse we take in are paid for by Citizens for Animal Protection and come from donations and fundraisers alone. The expenses on just this case alone were astronomical. With all of the health concerns, the surgery and the burial of the poor guy who didn't make it, we need the financial support of donors so that we can continue to be there for the next one. All donations are fully tax deductible and 100% of your donation goes to the care of equines in need. Won't you please consider a donation to help the horses who otherwise would not have a chance at a decent life. We thank you for your financial consideration!

Submitted by Sandra Calkins
Citizens for Animal Protection, Inc.
P.O. Box 151, Naugatuck, CT 06770
For more information, call 203-699-8447


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Updated: October 2005.