My name is Lily and I’m going to tell you my story… Where do I begin with my story? I’ve only been on this earth a short time so I guess I’ll just start at the beginning. The day I was born I remember looking up at my mother. She was so huge and beautiful. I felt so safe with her and as she softly nickered I felt safe and like nothing in the world could ever hurt me. For a little bit, I thought my mother and I were the only creatures on this Earth but then strange-looking two-legged creatures came looking at us. There were two creatures that stood taller and then some that were smaller. I wondered what they were. My mother told me that they were are owners, and they were very nice people. One of them that wasn’t quite as tall as the other two came into my pen she talked so softly to me I knew that she wasn’t going to hurt me. It was love at first sight for both of us.
Over the following days she spent so much time with me, it was as if she wanted to teach me every possible thing she could. She was so happy when I finally learned how to lead perfectly. We spent so many happy hours together, I just assumed that this was the way life always would be but I was so wrong. I don’t understand what happened all I knew is that my mother and I were ripped away from everything we held dear, the people we loved, our home, everything was gone.
Somehow in my jumbled memories my mother was gone and it was just me. I don’t know how this happened, all I know is my life went from wonderful and happy to a living nightmare. I learned from other horses that I was in the slaughter pipeline. I didn’t understand how or what that was, all I knew was that my mother was gone. One of the horses told me that the big horses are always separated from the little horses. There was nothing I could do but just go along with the flow and try not to get hurt or make another horse mad at me. I couldn’t believe how fast my life had changed, I went from feeling like I was loved and cherished to feeling like I was completely worthless. I was loaded up with a group of other little skinny scrawny horses like myself. We were taken to an auction yard, I didn’t know exactly what would happen to me, I just knew then I was scared and longing for my mother to be my side.
Auction yards are very busy places with so many people bustling about, no one really looked at me, I was just a skinny scrawny baby horse. Since I had been separated from my mother I had lost weight and my coat was dull and drab looking. I was chased down alleyways until I came to a big gate that soon opened, it was the gate into the auction ring. When I was in the auction ring the auctioneer was yelling out numbers. I was scared but didn’t know what else to do but run back and forth in this strange pen. The auctioneer yelled out “Sold, $65!” Another gate opened and I was pushed out and put in the pen with a bunch of ponies, miniature horses, and a baby donkey. I couldn’t help but think yes, what that horse told me was right, they always separate the smaller horses. The auction went on and on I could hear the auctioneer yelling out numbers and sold. Every so often another pony or miniature horse was put into our pen.
I was getting so tired, all I wanted to do was sleep. Finally the auctioneer was silent and one of the big horses over the fence said it’s finally over. I thought that meant I wasn’t going to see any more people but then a group of people came out and looked so thrilled to see us. They were making all sorts of happy sounds, it reminded me of the day I was born when the family came out to look at me. What I didn’t realize is that I had been purchased by the Horse Rescue Heroes of Horse Plus Humane Society. This was my second chance, they told me everything was going to be okay and they would be back for me first thing in the morning. Sure enough, first thing in the morning they were there. They took pictures of me and told me I was so cute. One of the Rescuers came up to me and petted me gently, she said “What’s your story precious little one I can tell somebody once loved you, baby horses aren’t born knowing how to lead and you lead quite well oh, you’re such a good little girl.” When she said that my heart ached for the person who taught me how to lead, I wanted my own person again.
The rescuers loaded me and all other the little horses and baby donkey into a trailer. We were headed to Horse Plus Humane Society in Hohenwald, TN.
When we arrived I couldn’t believe everything that was happening. First thing we were put into a nice stall full of shavings. There was good food and freshwater, things were definitely looking up. They had a veterinarian, a farrier and lots of people to hold the horses and help evaluate us. It was all quite the process, and I enjoyed all the attention so much. I was scared that it would all be taken away from me in a moment’s notice but these people seem to be really good and I could tell that they cared a lot about each one of us.
Finally, after a long busy day, they said that they were done. They had done so many things to us horses, we all had been microchipped, been vaccinated, been dewormed with some nasty-tasting stuff they said was good for us, given antibiotics and whatever the vet said we needed.
They told me I had to be quarantined, I didn’t know what that meant but the good thing is I was able to stay with my friends and we were going out in a huge pasture about 20 acres of yummy grass. They told me it was time for me just to relax and not worry anymore.
The days I spent in quarantine were so wonderful. I could go sleep in the warm sun, I could stand in the shade of big trees, I didn’t have to worry about anything. Running with my friends across the pasture as if we were the fastest horses on earth.
After a month they told me that my quarantine was over and it would be time for me to find a new home. I was what they called adoptable now, I guess that was a good thing but I really liked it here and didn’t want to go anywhere. One day a girl came to the shelter and I could tell right away that she liked me oh, she really liked me and I really liked her. She reminded me of someone and that made me happy. She had come to the shelter with her parents to adopt me!
I was so excited to finally have a person of my very own again. They took me home and I couldn’t be happier here. I am one of the lucky ones, I am a survivor of the slaughter pipeline.
Thousands of horses are sold at auctions and shipped to slaughter outside of the United States every month. I truly believe that is what happened to my mom and that breaks my heart. The Horse Rescue Heroes from Horse Plus Humane Society will be going back to the same auction they saved me at. I want to ask you to please make a donation to help save other horses like me and give them a chance. The only reason I was saved is because of people just like you donating what they could to help save a horse in the slaughter pipeline. Please become a horse rescue hero by making a donation that can save horses just like me.
Lily ~ A Slaughter Pipeline Survivor