Sorry for the delay in getting the blog out to you. After the 18 hour day our staff and volunteers were exhausted and some of them came down with a bug. But, grab some food and drink and enjoy this blog, make sure you have enough time, it’s a long one!
Thursday morning started out early with everyone getting hooked up and getting ready for the big day. We weren’t sure exactly how many horses, ponies and mules would be coming into the shelter, but we knew it was going to be around 20.
It was a long drive everywhere they needed to go that day. One rig headed off in a different direction to pick up some critters in need, while the other 2 headed to Susanville. They were going to be meeting up later in the day.
Not only was it a long drive, but it was a very beautiful drive. There was still beautiful fresh clean snow on the mountains.
A quick stop was made at Pet Country in Quincy. Tawnee wanted to speak to them about possibly incorporating a SAFE Surrender Site in Quincy. Pet Country had something for us too.
They had a donation can with some donations in it! Thank you so much for your support and for encouraging Tawnee in her critter endeavors over the last 14 years.
Leaving Pet Country, the next landmark was the beautiful Indian Valley near Greenville, CA. If you have never been there, you’ve been missing out on some spectacular views anytime of year.
The brake light came on in the cab of the primary rescue rig pulling the huge trailer and it said “Service Brake System Soon.” Brake malfunctions are never good. A quick check, a pint of brake fluid, and all was well once again.
It seemed at times that the driving would never end. They were leaving the beautiful mountains and getting ever closer to the desert.
Finally the first pickup, where the one rig went a different direction, was happening. Two adorable little ponies…
… and their Appaloosa friend were being surrendered. The owners stated that if we were not able to pick them up it would have been a hole in the ground, a gun and a bullet in the head. We are very thankful that we were able to keep that from happening!
Soon Star, the Appaloosa, was loading up into the trailer. She is about 7 years old and an Appy cross.
Next it was the two ponies turn. They looked on wide eyed as if asking “Can we go too?”
This little guy was very skeptical about being caught, but soon enough he had a halter and lead rope on.
Their hooves are long and in desperate need of help. The owner who signed them over wasn’t the original owner, the original owner had abandoned them at their place before disappearing.
Mile after mile the rigs went on. Would they ever arrive?
Finally civilization, and a fuel stop. The price of fuel is getting ridiculous again. We always cringe when we are filling up about how much hay we could buy…
After filling up it was off to Lassen County Animal Control. They had some stuff to show us. When we announced that we were going to be getting the horses and mules in Lassen county, a certain individual, who we won’t name at this time, emailed every official in Lassen County (even the road department) and left a message on Animal Control’s phone (and no doubt others) about how terrible we are, how we euthanize every horse after 60 days (not true) and a whole bunch of other slanderous things. This person believes that it would be better for the horses to be shipped to slaughter than to have a chance at finding a home. It’s hard to grasp as we will not turn our backs on horses that are facing the horrors of slaughter. It was an interesting message and the emails and message have been filed along with all the other stuff that has been accumulating over the last few months.
From Animal Control it was off down the road once again, this time following the AC director.
They were greeted by some sad, skinny bedraggled looking horses.
Thankfully all of them are not sad and bedraggled. The people who had the horses and mules abandoned on their property did their best to take care of them, but were far in over their heads. They were very grateful to Animal Control and us for stepping in and helping out. Animal Control was happy to arrange the pickup but was unable to provide any financial assistance. That is why we so thankful for the 40 people who contributed $3,300 towards the goal of $4,000 for this rescue. We only have $700 left to go, we can do it!
As soon as everyone was on the grounds it was time to assemble and figure out the best plan of action.
Tawnee figured out where a loading chute could be set up and soon the plan was in action.
Jason backed the trailer right where it needed to be and kept busy moving panels and directing the chute setup.
First off the stallions needed to be loaded. Unbeknown to us, one of the stallions had a history of aggressively kicking and biting people.
He kicked out at a person, which came millimeters from hitting her face. Thankfully her hand was in the way, which took the impact of the blow. It started swelling and you could tell it hurt a lot. She quickly removed her rings before the swelling made it impossible. Everyone feared it was broken, but she said she wasn’t going to stop until the end of the day, there was too much to be done.
With one person in pain, we still had to load this stallion. Panels were arranged, we got him close to the trailer, but he decided he wasn’t going to have anything to do with that plan. He just leaped.
Now we knew this horse was going to be extremely difficult and dangerous. Everyone feared that he may be left behind. Some of the people there said they could get a gun and shoot him. That was not an option in our book! We believe that humane euthanasia by injection is the only way with the exception of an extreme emergency. Thankfully he finally did load and then the two other stallions that were surrendered were loaded as well.
With the stallions safely secured, it was time to load all the other horses and mules. That went much easier.
With the first trailer full, it was time to load the skinny bedraggled ones. They had to be rounded up from a 5 acre pen.
Soon they were loaded into the smaller trailer and it pulled away from the loading chute.
Finally all the rigs were pulling away from the property. The owners of the property were so thankful that we had come to help!
Meanwhile, the rescue rig that had gone to the other destination was waiting at the Animal Control office. They enjoyed looking at the planes that are at the airport right next door while waiting.
At the Animal Control shelter Tawnee had mentioned that we have a huge mice population in the barn and may just be able to take in some feral cats. Of course there are always feral cats who need a home, and soon two were picked out that would be a good match. Buffy and Puffy would be the new resident cats at the shelter to help with the mice population.
There was a lot of paperwork to do for signing the animals over.
Everyone regrouped, there were still 3 pickups that had to be made.
After a short drive the first pickup was being led to the waiting trailer.
She is a poor older horse suffering from DSLD.
Soon she was in the trailer ready to see where the road may take her.
Then down the road once again. Was this day ever going to end?
The next pickup Animal Control had scheduled was an older horse who’s owners could no longer keep him.
He loaded right up like a true champ.
Poor guy was pretty skinny.
The last stop of the day (finally!) was a 40 year old horse who’s owners wanted to have humanely euthanized, but they could not afford it.
They loved him dearly, but over the last few months his health declined so rapidly that they knew it was time to say “Goodbye.”
Finally, the trailer door closed. All the horses were tucked in safely for the ride back. There were a total of 21 horses, ponies and mules surrendered in 1 day.
Once again everyone regrouped and made sure that everyone had enough fuel. All the staff and volunteers were getting tired, but the day was far from over.
Mile after mile slipped under the rescue rigs.
There was a quick stop in Greenville before heading down the Feather River Canyon to make sure everyone was OK.
Finally, at almost midnight, the horses were being unloaded. Everyone felt like walking zombies, it had been a very long day.
The horses were happy to get out and see green grass. Being from the high desert they were certainly amazed.
Please remember that we do still need $700 to reach our goal to help these horses. We have them, but now they need medical care, food and a whole lot more. If everyone who reads this donated just a couple dollars, we’d have more than enough! Please help if you can, click here.
Many thanks to Roberta A., David P., Elizabeth C., Sharron D., Raul C., Jennifer B., Cornelia D., Marsha H., Sondra W., Gail G., Karen H., Barbara B., Colleen S., Rosemary B., Ingrid F., Brooke P., Ruthann C., Catherine G., Kimberly L., Dolores G., Erin K., Susannah J., Norma C., Julie S., Bettina C., Faryn K., Verena’s Go Gourmet, Marlene B., Jenette S., Kay L., Sherri R., Dorothy J., Cindy M., Chrysteen A., Shari H., Joellyn B., Patricia W., Kathy R., Linda K., Anita M., Ann B., Janet D., Yvonne W., Jackie J., Pam R., Ellen O., Monica J., Catherine F., Trudi R., Diana M., Diane B., Carla G., Betsy W., Julie S., Elin K., Show Dressed Up, Lisa W., Linda F., Judy C., Karen H., Scott M., Peg G., Roberta A., Kathleen T., Peggy N., Angela T. We can’t thank each and every one of you enough!