Phoenix – The Dying Horse at Auction

This is the story of Phoenix, the horse that was rescued out of the slaughter pipeline recently at an auction.  His story is so heart warming and touching, we know you will enjoy it.

When we first met Phoenix, he was laying in a pen full of other horses.  He was very weak and seemingly could not stand on his own.  One of our rescuers walked around him and tried to get him to stand, but was unsuccessful.  Phoenix would pause for long periods of time between breaths at random, and all of our rescuers at the auction wondered which breath would be his last.

Allyssa comforted Phoenix, and told him that everything was going to be OK.  In her heart, she wondered how that could be his reality.

Phoenix would roll in pain every once in awhile.  Most likely from a colic.  He was extremely dehydrated and weak.

Still, he laid on the ground.  Unable, unwilling to stand.  We asked the auction staff to help Phoenix, and they said they would in a few minutes, but time dragged on and we realized we would have to purchase Phoenix to get him the help he needed.

We were told that Phoenix, and the other horses in his pen, were all unloaded from the double decker slaughter trailer that was waiting to load them back up, along with all the other horses purchased at the auction.  Witness’ told us that workers had to beat Phoenix to get him up and out of the trailer when they backed up to the chutes.  None of the horses, including Phoenix, had auction tags, they were just waiting at the auction to load back up.

Allyssa continued comforting Phoenix as he laid on the ground.

In order for us to purchase him, they had to put an auction tag on him.  They got him up, and gave him an extremely large dose of banamine, more than we had ever seen any horse receive before at one time.  After putting the auction tag on him, they agreed to sell him for $230.  We didn’t even know if he was going to live, but we knew we had to get him out of there.  You could see the pain and confusion in his eyes, it was so heart wrenching.

Allyssa led him through the auction alleyways after paying for him.  Phoenix had a glimmer of hope that maybe there was someone that cared for him, maybe life was worth living.

Once away from the auction, Phoenix did a lot of walking.  Walking is very important for horses who are suffering from colic.

Phoenix required a lot of care and after hours of worrying about him, he finally started nibbling on grass.  This was a very good sign!

After midnight he was doing so much better that Allyssa and the rest of the rescue team felt comfortable catching a few hours of sleep.

We were unable to get any vet that first night to see him, but we had him at the vet first thing in the morning.  He was doing much better, and was eating, drinking, and pooping.  He was pretty much over his colic!  The vet went ahead and tubed him, giving him more fluids, and gave him other medications.  After a thorough examination he gave his OK for him to be transported to our shelter.


On the trip to the shelter, Phoenix was definitely doing much better.  He seemed to enjoy looking out of the window at all the sights along the way.  The pain and hopelessness had left his eyes, he had the spark of life burning brightly once again.

Phoenix has been doing great at our shelter.  He has a wonderful appetite and has gotten his hooves trimmed and lots of TLC.  It’s amazing to think that if he hadn’t have been dying in that back pen at the auction, we wouldn’t have been able to pull him from the slaughter buyer.  The kill buyer didn’t want a dying horse on his trailer, and that is the only reason we were able to save his life.


We would like to thank each and every person who donated to help rescue Phoenix and all the other horses we saved at the last auction.  We couldn’t have done it without you! Help us save more horses, donate!