In October of 2005 I received a call from a friend that said there was a horse at the Indio pound that had been removed from its owner’s possession after finding the horse was literally starving to death. I couldn’t believe my eyes, as you can see from the picture just how thin he was. I loaded him in my trailer and drove straight to my veterinarian who immediately began treating him for starvation.
I will never understand how anyone could intentionally commit this atrocious act to this innocent and beautiful horse. I hope that whoever reads this story will alert me or any other rescue facility if you ever witness any cruelty of any nature. I am slowly nursing him back to health and I know it will take some time. However, he was so worth saving, as he is the most kind and gentle horse, even after everything he must have gone through. He has allowed me to love him and I believe he has earned his name, “Lucky Spirit.” You my friend will never want for anything ever again..
A TRIBUTE TO LUCKY SPIRIT
This report never gets any easier, so it is with tear-filled eyes I tell you of my beautiful Lucky Spirits last days. Here is his story…
In April 2006 I received a call from my friend Christine Madruga about a horse that had been seized by the Indio Animal Shelter. Christine said Lucky Spirit was being starved, so I hooked up my trailer and drove to the shelter where I was shocked at his condition! I had taken in underweight horses before, but none like poor Lucky. I took Lucky to Dr. Tim Vail for immediate attention, and I will never forget Dr. Vail’s words to me, “Yvonne this is what a true rescue is.” While with Dr. Vail, he discovered Lucky has a tattooed lip, meaning he was once a race horse. How someone can just use a horse for their pleasure then turn around and let it literally starve, I will never understand. Lucky was now part of the Forever Free family and I was going to see to it that he was never hungry again! It took nearly two years to figure out his diet requirements due to the fact that he had gone so long without food and his entire system had been jeopardized. He had multiple episodes of impaction and could not eat bermuda grass, but was given alfalfa all day. I also started him on senior grain and timothy pellets 4 times a day which would be soaked to a mash for easy consumption since his teeth had also been compromised. It was discovered Lucky also suffered from cataracts, and had no eyelashes on his left eye which caused its own set of problems so I purchased special fly masks, just for him. In the last two years of his life he was having hip problems and within the last two weeks I noticed he was having trouble getting up. On Saturday, July 6, as I entered the barn I saw a lot of blood...everywhere. It was evident Lucky had diarrhea all night, but it consisted of mostly blood. He would not eat and stood lifeless in his stall. Within the hour veterinarian Dr. Moss arrived, did an exam then reported to me that it was not good; something ruptured internally and his condition was very serious. It was at that moment I just hung my head and knew my beautiful Lucky Spirit had reached the end of his trail. So, with a very heavy heart I said my goodbyes, hugged and kissed him, then I let him go. I truly feel Lucky is one of our greatest success stories. For several years, he was loved, and treasured, and groomed, and fed to his hearts content. He was peaceful and gentle, and I loved him, and he loved me. I will never forget his quiet presence, and I know in my heart I accomplished what I set out to do in saving this beautiful boy….
Taking possession of this starving horse
After one month living at Forever Free
Three months later