Sweety and Ranger’s Rescue Story – 2006

(This Rescue Story is from back in 2006)

Sweety and Ranger’s Rescue Story

In January of 2006 we were contacted by a supporter that there was serious horse abuse happening near Ukiah, CA. The horses were a 24 year old gelding, named Ranger with a body score of 1-, and a 10 year old Paint mare named Sweety with a body score of 1.

We contacted the Animal Control office in that county, but our phone call was not returned. We left the information and were hopeful that they would investigate and do whatever was necessary to remedy the situation. We were again contacted by our concerned supporter, and they were extremely concerned due to the severity of the situation. We were told that Animal Control came out and despite one of the horses falling down in front of the officer from weakness they just gave the owner a citation.

The horses were in such terrible condition, it is hard to see just how skinny this Paint is, the color white often hides their true condition, but she was knocking on deaths door.

Poor Ranger, he was so skinny. The story came out that their owner was a drug abuser, and the Sheriff officer attending the seizure knew for a fact they had gone for at least 8 weeks with no food. Ranger was more than happy to receive a handful of hay when this photo was taken.

They were so skinny!

After the owner was threatened with criminal prosecution, we managed to get the horses turned over to us since Animal Control had no desire to seize them. Since we were so far from where they were being abused, we arranged an emergency foster home. The horses could only stand for a limited time before laying down from weakness, and the 6+ hour trailer ride would no doubt have killed them if we had tried to bring them to the rescue immediately.

It was hard seeing a young, innocent horse in such terrible condition. We were concerned especially for Ranger, being that he was 24, but we had high hopes for Sweety (below) as she was only 10.

Sweety had untreated sores all over her body.

Both of the horses had great spirits and seemed to know that their bad days were over. They especially enjoyed getting to eat once again. Of course when an equine is this emaciated it requires extreme care and diligence to start them on a feeding program.

A few months later, Ranger was starting to gain weight, but he sure had a long way to go. He looked quite shaggy, but spring was coming and he was starting to hold his head higher once again.

In May of 2006, about 5 months after being rescued, Ranger was looking simply amazing! One could never tell he was the same horse that was a 1- on the body scale, as skinny as he could physically get and still be alive. The vet, who examined him upon being rescued, said he only had a few days to live. Ranger proved him wrong!

Sweety also looked amazing. She was all round and her bones no longer were protruding from her body. Her sores were all healed and she was full of life once again.

The good news? Their owner got 6 years in jail, and then a long probation period where she cannot own or be around horses. She should be banned for life. Ranger and Sweety were both adopted into awesome homes.

We would like to thank you, our supporters, for making it possible to rescue horses like Sweety and Ranger.