From Tawnee: The reality of rescuing 15 horses from the slaughter pipeline

How do I describe today?  Exciting, exhausting, hot, humid, emotional, and heartbreaking. There are so many emotions all wrapped up into one day.  We didn’t stop rescuing horses until the wee = hours this morning, then I caught a few hours of sleep with Jason my husband at a hotel, and then back to the auction to get all 15 precious horses back to our shelter.  On the way back to our shelter I put together a video so you all could see what happened at the auction and the process of getting them ready to head to the shelter. You can watch that video at this link:

 When Jason and I arrived back at the shelter our intake team and veterinarian were waiting.  As soon as the horses were unloaded our veterinarian began taking X-rays of the most critical ones.  First was the poor crippled little mini stallion that was in the last email and on our Facebook page.  I knew that there was probably nothing we can do for him, every step was clearly agony for him.  The x-rays confirmed what I already knew was the reality of the situation.  I wish things could have been different for this precious little horse, I wish that his previous owners would have never allowed him to get into the state he was when we rescued him.  Our veterinarian said the only thing we could do was to relieve his suffering and say goodbye. I gave him a hug goodbye and told him that he was such a sweet little guy, I wished in my heart that things could have been different. Somebody had to do the right thing for him even though it’s always hard. 

 Being an Animal Rescuer you’re faced with many hard decisions and being the one stepping up for animals whose owners have failed them.  Out of the 15 precious horses we rescued, we had to say goodbye to 3 others as well. One had COPD and was struggling to breathe, and also had heart problems.  The vet and vet tech both listened and said they could literally not hear any air moving through her lungs!   There is another horse on our watch list, I don’t know if she’s going to make it or not,  we’re trying and I’m hopeful but I’m also so worried about her. She’s a beautiful young 3-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse. She’s the one that had the extremely large gross looking swelling on her throat and neckline. Thankfully it is not cancer, but she has some serious problems going on with it, and the vet believes her airway may be involved.  When he lanced the infected area air was coming out. Not normal at all.  Our veterinarian made a plan for her and we will see what happens, she’s young and strong and we are hoping for the best for her. One had been previously abused to such an extent but there was nothing we could do to help her, and no, it wasn’t the pony that tried to bite me at the auction, it was a mule that came to the auction with her and was so abused by people that she would repeatedly kick and bite at people. It’s hard to say what she had gone through, but it was clear that the abuse she had endured made her a danger to herself and others.  I always say: any type of abuse to an animal is wrong and absolutely devastating to that animal.  Rehabilitating a starved horse is usually always possible, but a horse, or mule, who has been physically beaten and abused is emotional abuse that the animal sometimes can never recover from, and sometimes it’s not worth the risk to itself or others.  The other horse we said goodbye to was a used up broken down Amish horse whose x-rays were just horrifying to look at, so much damage so much pain.

The other 10 horses were examined and are all doing well.  Many of them received dental work and other medical procedures to help them during their quarantine process.  At the end of the day when everyone was finally taken care of all the Little Ponies were put in one pen together, and the horses got to be turned out into the beautiful 10-acre quarantine pasture.  It was definitely a long exhausting day, but so worth it.  Right now we are asking for name suggestions for the rescued horses on our Facebook page.  If you’d like to help suggest or like names that you believe may be a good fit, please head over to our Facebook page and take a look at this link:…

Again I just want to thank each and every person who has donated this month to help us rescue horses in need.  Without your support these 15 precious horses could have ended up on the USDA Slaughter export reports. Because of your support, 15 horses were rescued, and I can’t thank you enough for making that happened. 

Thank You! ~ Tawnee Preisner


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By phone: 1-888-HPHS-077

By USPS: Horse Plus Humane Society P.O. Box 485, Hohenwald, TN 38462

Horse Plus Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, tax ID #20-1156396.