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In the last blog (the Urgent Need) we mentioned that Jason and Tawnee headed out on vacation. It had been about 8 years since they had a real 1 week vacation, and they were all excited to load up the kids, both furry and non-furry, and head for the hills for a whole week of quiet bliss.
Way up in the mountains where the frost still blankets the meadows every night, they had a beautiful campsite. Amber got to go as she was in adoption pending and was going to be adopted in that area along with Sir Peanut the goat.
Back at the shelter the farrier came out to get some much needed trimming done.
Phoenix has always stood patiently without a halter to get his feet done. He loves his manicure! What a sweet boy he is.
A group of pre-schoolers came out to the shelter for a field trip. They also brought a huge bag of carrots with them to give out as treats. They had a great time meeting the animals and learning all about responsible animal care.
Cathy, April, Larry and other volunteers were keeping the shelter going while Jason and Tawnee were on vacation. Cathy brought Shasta along, the little puppy that joined her family at the last Wal-Mart booth.
At the shelter a trailer pulled up with a horse in it. The owner had come to the shelter awhile back explaining she had an older mare who was only halter trained and had been a big pet her entire life. We told her if at all possible she could keep her horse to do so as a horse that is only halter trained is unlikely to find a home due to the excess of horses and the terrible economy. Sadly, she was no longer able to keep her.
Meet Bambi, a 23 year old mare who has only had 1 owner her entire life. She enjoyed just sitting in the pasture eating and being a horse. Now sadly she is homeless due to the economy. Her owner never thought the day would come when she would not have the money to care for her and be forced to give her up.
Cathy’s girls ‘enjoy’ helping their mom out however they can. They got to clean a lot of pens. Great job girls, your enthusiasm for helping is greatly appreciated.
One of the visitors came to the shelter and just had to stop by and say “Hi” to Phoenix and all the other critters.
The SAFE Surrender Site was extremely busy with horses being surrendered left and right.
We’re not sure why the increase other than we did put the times that the SAFE Surrender Site is open at our vet office on the calendar on our contact page, but all of a sudden it has become extremely busy.
Tawnee’s vacation was interrupted as the day after the camp was set up she headed off to pick up a horse.
Lassen County Animal Control had a horse that was a stray and they asked if we could take it. As Animal Control’s are our top priority we said “Yes.” He had been neglected for some time. His poor mane was matted in every which direction. This little gelding’s name is Foretune, named by one of our Facebook fans. They said it is short for Fortunate..
His hooves are long and overgrown. Who knows when the last time he saw a farrier.
And, to top it off, he was a little thin.
He is a very sweet boy and headed to the trailer without a complaint. It’s amazing how matted his poor mane is.
He hopped right in and was ready to start his new life. Little did he know he was going to have to go camping for awhile before heading on to the shelter.
In the front of the trailer Sir Peanut was excitedly waiting to find out where his adventure would lead him.
Soon he was in his mommy’s arms and she was so delighted to have him.
Finally everything was done and Tawnee hit the road back to her vacation.
Up in the woods she found an Aspen tree that had a unique carving on it. It was a horse, of course. The date beside the horse said 1915. Almost 100 years ago! No doubt horses cost more back then, how times change.
Saturday night Tawnee called Cathy and found that 7 horses had been surrendered at the SAFE Surrender Site and 12 horses were on their way Sunday morning from Shasta County Animal Control. This rousted Jason and Tawnee at 4:45 AM Sunday morning to help out at the shelter.
At the shelter Lakota was enjoying her breakfast. She sure is looking good. She came to our shelter on the 11th and…
…this is what she looked like. It’s amazing what a week of feed will do for a horse.
Marley, the scrawny little guy from the killer buyer, is doing good too. He is gaining weight and the wormy coat is finally disappearing.
While waiting for Shasta County Animal Control, Jason and Tawnee started painting some trim on the shelters.
Mr T wanted to help paint too, but he pretty much just stuck his head in all the wrong places. If any of you remember Mr T’s nose job, it has turned out perfect.
Finally the trucks and trailers started rolling through the shelter gate.
You can watch everything that happened on our Youtube video by clicking here. It’s worth a watch!
We knew that posting about the stallions in the last blog could cause controversy and that not everyone would understand why they needed to be euthanized. One person on our Facebook page said we are no better than kill buyers. That struck us odd as euthanizing a wild horse is quite costly and is quite the opposite of being paid $’s per pound of horse meat at a slaughter house.
All of the 12 horses were going to be euthanized immediately by Animal Control if we did not take them, without any chance at finding a home. They had tried with no luck. We took these wild stallions even though we knew they couldn’t be put into our adoption program. Our vet is one of the few in the northern CA area that has access to a tranquilizer gun, along with the training and experience to humanely euthanize by chemical injection untrained stallions and other wild, dangerous horses. Sadly there are not enough funds available to care for stallions, geld them, wait 6-12 months for their testosterone levels to drop, their training, and at best have a green broke horses that still cannot find a home due to the economy. Doing the math, it is about $2,000 just to get a wild mature stallion to a point where it could begin to look for its forever home. With so many good, healthy riding horses going to slaughter and being abandoned, starving to death, etc, sadly it just doesn’t make sense. That would be over $6,000 on 3 horses that probably still wouldn’t find homes due to the economy. Well trained riding horses have a hard enough time finding homes, much less recently gelded untrained horses. It is truly sad times for all horses.
Someone mentioned they would have taken them and trained them. Due to insurance liability reasons we cannot foster or adopt out stallions, especially mature stallions that have only known fighting each other and breeding mares. It’s a sad fact that not every horse has a home. We could easily have not mentioned them, but we are an open door facility and with that comes the good days, and the sad days. It would have been very easy not to talk about them, bypassing the controversy, but we remain open and honest about the sad facts of overbreeding and lack of owner responsibility.
At the vet office there were a lot of horses that had been surrendered at the SAFE Surrender Site along with Woody, who is now a gelding donkey due to your support. We cannot thank you all enough for helping Woody. Thankfully donkey’s are more mild mannered, especially young ones, and Woody was a great candidate for gelding. He will no doubt find a home very soon, maybe yours?
Two of the 7 horses that were surrendered at the SAFE Surrender Site after evaluation were given the Last Act of Kindness. This is a 26 year old with a bad leg and the other was a 34 year old. Thankfully their owners did the right thing and didn’t allow them to waste away in pain.
The other horses were excited to head off from the vet to the shelter.
First, intake photos were taken. We would like you to meet April, an 8 year old Appaloosa mare. She is not trained to ride, but for those interested in training horses, this would be a great candidate.
This is Maria, she came with a note that says: “Hello my name is Maria. I am 13 years old this year. My owner has taken very good care of me and has spoiled me rotten. However, she feels that after many years of trying to keep me sound the best thing to do is to retire me in a wonderful green pasture. I love to be brushed and fussed over, however my tummy is a little sensitive and my ears are ticklish. I have never kicked nor do I bite. I love attention, enjoy fly masks to keep the flies out of my eyes, and blankets in the winter to keep me warm. I have lived with other horses (but have had the privilege of having my own stall and pasture), goats that have been with me, cats that sleep in the stall, and dogs that run around.
My lameness began in the front when a farrier was shoeing me and insisted on putting the wrong size shoe: It pinched my heals and caused many problems. I spent three years in pads while my feet were healing. Then it was noticed that I was lame in the hind end and was taken to a specialist who doctored me up and sent me home with rehab instructions. I graduated rehab and was looking good when I was feeling frisky and accidently kicked the medal rail between stalls and have been lame ever since. I have had no other medical problems.
I am an easy keeper but need to watch my weight. When my weight increases I become sore and have a harder time moving. I do not wish to be breed the extra weight would make my pregnancy miserable and that would make my delivery hard to the point that I may not recover.”
Meet Misty, a 4 year old Appaloosa / Quarter Horse cross, also untrained to ride. She could easily be the daughter of April, but we don’t have that information, but they did come from the same place.
Meet Blue, an 8 year old Paint gelding. Also not trained to ride. Apparently he was on Craigslist back in May for $400 “Must Go ASAP, just watched him grow up and got bored of horses.” The ad also said that he had no vices. However, when the note that came with him at the SAFE Surrender Site said “May kick, very herd bound, not sound, halters & ties, tries to climb over 6′ roundpen, possible stifle injury.” Not the same story as his Craigslist ad. If people would only be honest when they sell their horse. We will be evaluating him, but he is currently lame.
Meet Chase, an 11 year old registered Thoroughbred, off the track. His note says: “Chase is a very sweet horse! He does have bone chips in his hocks and arthritis from being on the track. Very quiet on the trail, goes english and western. He has a sensitivity to flies and cribs. Cribbing does go away if he is fed a diet high in rice bran. He also prefers pasture but does fine in a stall.”
At the shelter the horses were being unloaded.
Finally, everything was done and Jason and Tawnee could get back to their vacation. If any of you are wondering, yes they slept in the tepee and they made it themselves.
Their interrupted vacation was finally over. Tawnee says it was the first time she has felt ready to leave her vacation and get back to work. They’ve only had a few days off here and there, it was nice to feel refreshed and ready to go again. On the way back, they stopped at Maddie’s home as Maddie was going to have a new sister, Amber.
Amber posed for her adoption photo. Here ears are so long it almost made her look like a mule.
She whinnied a goodbye to her camping friends and will be very happy in her new home.
All the way back home Waify slept. She had really gotten worn out camping.
Once they arrived in the valley they found out that at the SAFE Surrender Site there were 3 more horses that had been surrendered. Wow, that is 24 horses surrendered in the last week. Let’s hope the pace slows down.
The 3 horses at the SAFE Surrender site were evaluated. Two of them were extremely elderly, were attached to each other, and had weight issues. When they examined the other one, they found that both hind legs were giving out on him, causing him a lot of pain. Euthanasia was the only option to relieve their suffering. What a hard hard week. So many hard choices to make.
Woody, on the other hand, was hoping that there was room in the trailer to catch a ride back to the shelter. Sorry Woody, next trip!
Bambie’s old owner came to the shelter to spend some time with her. She is hoping that she can find a way to sponsor her so that she can be transferred to Home at Last Sanctuary. It cost $150 a month for a horse to be sponsored at Home at Last.
The group of Arabians from Shasta County Animal Control have settled in nicely.
They sent us pictures of them when they were first seized. What sad, skinny horses, standing shivering in the cold snow.
They are extremely lucky that Shasta County Animal Control stepped up and did the right thing. So many Animal Control’s will have nothing to do with horses it seems.
Today that same horse standing in the picture above is big and beautiful. She is counting on your support so she can find her forever home.
So far we have raised just over $1,403 towards our goal of $2,500 to care for the group of horses from Shasta County Animal Control. There are two young stallions that need to be gelded, that will cost $600. The price of feed just went up 20%, and we need your help. We rely on your support to make rescuing and helping all these horses possible. To help out, click here.
For your enjoyment please enjoy these pictures from Jason and Tawnee’s vacation. We are hoping that next year we can have a Horse + camp just like this where everyone can come.
Many thanks to everyone who gives their support, both financially and emotionally.