We rescued a horse that was named Admiral last year from a livestock auction. He was very emaciated and we didn’t know if he was even going to make it. Since that time we have used his photo a few times to bring awareness and help raise funds to save horses just like him from auctions. It amazes us how many people are critical of why we would have rescued this “old skinny horse.” One person posted “If having common sense is sick so be it. You are not realizing that picture of one emaciated horse is drawing in donations. Tugging at the heartstrings and purse strings. Until I see that actual horse was taken in and in good shape, I would question the whole deal…”
When we first saw Admiral he was peaking over the boards at the auction, trying to get our attention. We didn’t know that he was in such skinny shape until we looked over the boards. Our hearts sank. Typically horses in this condition won’t make it, they are too far gone. It all depends on age and whether they have the will to live or not.
We purchased him, knowing that no matter what his outcome, he needed love and compassion. He was such a sweet horse, and it was so sad seeing him in this condition, knowing that someone caused him to be like this.
On the way back to our shelter he traveled well and was very curious about what his future would hold. When horses are in this condition we do not tie them in the trailer because they are so weak they often cannot make the whole trip standing. Admiral’s will was strong and he traveled great.
At our shelter it was so hard looking at him. There was nothing left, just skin stretched over bones.
Our veterinarian evaluated him and found that he wasn’t very old at all: just 15! Well cared for horses can easily live into their 30’s. We got him the dental work he needed and the vet said there was no reason for him to be skinny, just a lack of nutrition.
Admiral was so skinny and pathetic looking, but he wanted to live, and he enjoyed grazing in the pastures. His stomach started filling out.
After several months with us you could really see the difference. He was still very skinny, but he was filling out!
It was a very happy day when we found the right home for him. It was love at first sight for his adopter, and she couldn’t have been happier.
Admiral settled into his home and was quite happy. He was getting all the love and attention he could handle.
By spring he was filled out a lot more and his winter coat started shedding.
His transformation over winter was so amazing! He went from being literally a walking skeleton that we didn’t know would even make it, to…
…an absolutely stunning horse. He is fully filled out and so beautiful! His adoptive mom has done such a wonderful job finishing his rehabilitation. She was so excited as the day she would get to ride him came closer.
Today Admiral is a beautiful, strong, healthy horse that has such an amazing story! You can follow his story at his Facebook page, click here. It’s hard to think that this stunning horse would not be alive if we hadn’t saved him. His journey to adoption was a long one, but thanks to your support, we were able to transform this horse’s life.
This Tuesday there will be horses in just as much need as Admiral being sold to the highest bidder. So far this year we have rescued 69 horses from auction, literally pulling them out of the slaughter pipeline. It costs our organization about $1,000 on average to rescue and shelter a horse, giving them the vet care, farrier care, feed, training, and sheltering until they find their adoptive home each horse needs. Horses at auction in TN typically sell for 40-50 cents a pound, and rescuing them from the auction is the cheap part. We cannot save them unless we know the funds are available to responsibly save and care for them. We have currently raised the funds to rescue and shelter 4 horses. Our goal this month is to save 20 horses from this upcoming auction, and we need your help! Please donate, every dollar really helps.