First off, a HUGE thank you to Krista for creating our new website! She donated all her efforts to create our new site, which must have been very time-consuming and a bit of a learning curve as well for her. If you're looking for help with website design, we highly recommend her (her email is firstname.lastname@example.org). I'll have to learn how to navigate the new site now myself so I might still be a little lax in updating items but I'll try to keep on top of it.
I tried to keep notes as to what was happening during the lapse but will probably miss a few things, so I apologize ahead of time if I miss thanking anyone or forget to mention something important.
On the boring, paper-shuffling side of things, in August/September we had both a federal Charities Commission audit and a provincial fundraising audit. Both went well, thankfully. Our Charities auditor, Cynthia, was very nice. She grew up on a farm, so she was happy to be able to come out and see the animals!
I also knuckled down and spent a fair bit of time doing grant-writing in late summer and we were successful on several fronts. Thanks go out to the Totem Foundation, Harry & Martha Cohen Foundation, Nickle Family Foundation, and Four Feet Companions Foundation! Also our sincere appreciation to the continued support of the Donner Canadian Foundation. We also received donations from Cenovus Employee Foundation, the United Way and Team Telus Cares. Thank you to the employees who support us through these employee foundations and the United Way. We also participated in 'Giving Tuesday', December 3rd, and would like to thank everyone who made donations at that time. Donations made on Canada Helps through Interac were matched by Interac up to $25 per donation. Right now, approaching Christmas, through donations we're decorating the tree on our home page and have almost filled up the tree already!
It is so heartwarming to have the support of so many people in looking after the horses (and other animals). Thanks to: Wendy Poirier for covering Winnie's expenses (she is getting joint injections in her front foot); Janine Falck for contributing towards Prince's and Hitch's expenses (acupuncture, joint injections & chiro); Kerry Busby for contributing towards Chanel's care expenses (farrier, etc, plus antibiotics for her pneumonia); Elaine Smith for the used tack donation; donations in memory of Harvey Poffenroth; donations in memory of Jim Fry; and Robin Johnston & David Swick for the donation is Ed's memory.
We had a couple of other special donations (sorry, I know they're all special!!). Thanks to: Olivia for the donation for your birthday towards sponsoring first Sheba, then Story; Cristina for the donation in lieu of presents for your 13th birthday; and thank you so much once again Laura Day and John Garner for the feed donation from the Spruce Meadows Masters. I also want to thank Mary Ellen Lickfold for her continuous hard work on our behalf, cleaning up and selling the used tack. It's amazing how it adds up! Thanks once again to everyone who is sponsoring or fostering for us as well, and to the Hoffmans, Morgans and Hewitts for the summer pasture! And thank you to Terri Bodell for donating a lot of square bales! It's been a lifesaver, especially as we still haven't found someone to come through will hauling over the square bales we bought this fall.
We haven't taken in any new equine additions as we still have so many lovely horses waiting for their forever homes. However we did take in 4 piglets (Penny, Boris, Stella and Spot) rescued during the flood, 1 llama (Ramalama) who has already been rehomed, and 11 poultry from the Calgary Humane Society (some really lovely roosters and 2 hens) and 2 more hens, Princess and Charlotte. Shiner, Tacoma and Thor have come back to the rescue, Shiner already being readopted and Tacoma and Thor up for adoption. Soda, Monkey, Joanie, Torque and Snips are back from foster. Valentino will be coming back from foster shortly as well. Cecil, Quill, Twobits, Macie and Kahlua, Story, Timber, and the cows Charlotte, Olive and Norman have gone out on foster. Adopted out since our last update are Zoey, Jackpot, Milo (still here, won't leave til spring), Venus, Samia, Nina, Freya, Emily, Karma, Faith, Burl, Sheba, Tigger, Nanoon, Jax, Bailey, Odyssey, Shiner, Chanel, Cheeks, and Early Hank. So we've certainly had a lot of comings and goings!
We of course had a lot of hauling to do in the fall, bringing back the herd from Water Valley (10 horses), the Crammond herd (19 horses) and the Hoffmans' herd (26 horses). Most of it went without a hitch, except that Annie went missing from the Crammond herd the day we were picking them up! That was scary - I ran around that quarter section at least twice trying to find her or looking for a broken section of fence, not knowing if she was dead or got out somewhere. It was an amazing stroke of luck that someone driving by saw us and stopped and asked if we were missing a horse as their father (uncle?) a few miles down the road had found one! Never did figure out how she got out or what caused her to leave the other horses, but boy, were we ever glad she was okay. Thank you to the people who corralled her and got her off the road. A super thanks to Colette for helping haul the Crammond herd back with her truck and trailer. It saved us a lot of time having the extra trailer! Bringing the horses back from our neighbours', the Hoffmans, I managed to snag the trailer leg on a chain lying across the road and wrecked it good. So glad Mike was able to fix it, though not without causing a fair bit of hassle in the meantime, between having to leave the trailer on the truck as it had no leg, to having to unhook the trailer once when we got stuck, as it is difficult to unhook a trailer with no leg! (We were picking up firewood - that's another big thank you, to Anne and Glen for the firewood!)
We made a trek down to Standoff a few weeks ago to try and find 2 emaciated horses that were reportedly hanging around someone's house. Along with RJ, Clarissa, and Deanna from AARCS/Pound Rescue, who had initially found out about the horses, we spent most of the day trying to locate the horses but couldn't find them anywhere. We did find some a sickly little weanling at the impound lot that we tried to save but sadly he died before we could get back down there to bail him out. And we struck a deer on the way home (I think/hope the deer survived!) which demolished the front of our truck. Fortunately we were able to drive the rest of the way home but it was pretty wrecked and not going anywhere after that. Once again, Mike to the rescue! He was able to repair the truck for probably 1/3 of what it would have cost to send it out to be fixed, but we were without a truck for several weeks. And somehow we ended up with 3 new kittens (Nelson, Stanley & Amelia) on the trip!
We had bloodwork done on Russa this summer and as we suspected, she has Cushings, so she is on daily medication for that and doing well. We had x-rays done of Cosmo, Prince, Twenty and Winnie, with corrective shoeing for Cosmo and Prince, and cortisone shots for Prince, Twenty and Winnie. Winnie is now getting alcohol injections in her joint to fuse it and Prince and Twenty get cortisone and HA injections. Munsie keeps developing abscesses, she has really thin soles, but we've got her up at the house on limited movement and we're seeing some improvement. Chanel had pneumonia (twice) but that cleared up after a regimen of antibiotics and she's gone to her new home. We had an outbreak of strangles brought in by the new arrivals from the auction in July. Fortunately we were able to contain it to the group of youngsters at the house. Very sadly, little Napoleon the pony recovered from the initial strangles but then became ill again a couple of weeks later. We took him in to Moore's but they were unable to stabilize him and we had to make the decision to have him euthanized that evening. They did a postmortem on him and found a large abscess (bastard strangles) in his gut. Poor little guy, he was such a character, so cute and all personality. Poor Milo had strangles for about 6 weeks but he recovered completely so that was a relief. We lost quite a few older horses over the last few months. Shandra passed away in the field at her foster home, cause unknown. Old Red became ill and was not responding to treatment and was euthanized quietly here at the rescue. Cosmo developed neurological problems, perhaps a tumor pressing on his spine, and we had to make the decision to have him euthanized as well. Sarcee's lymphangitis became worse and flared up constantly. inhibiting her movement and she also was euthanized here at the Rescue. Most recently (last week), Brandy went down and had to be euthanized at Janine's. Each of these decisions are so hard to make but come with the territory. We miss every horse that leaves us and we try to make their passing as easy as possible. Zora the yearling had a colic episode a few weeks ago but thankfully recovered quickly and with minimal intervention. Dallas got a wire cut on her hind leg a couple of months ago and it is healing up well.
Lastly, we have a new intern, Janneane, helping out at the Rescue! She's been a big help and has even learned to drive the tractor.
I'll try and get some updated pictures on the website of the youngsters. They grow and change so much that it's hard to keep up and they don't look the same, even taking into account the winter fuzzy coats they now have.