A heads up that we'll have a booth at the Mane Event in Red Deer again this year, April 25-27th. If you would like to volunteer to help man the booth during that weekend please send us an email. There's a Mane Event planning meeting here at the Rescue on March 1st that you can also attend if interested. We'll have an info table at the adopt-a-thon at Bowdog in Calgary on March 15th.
More sad news in that we lost Hannah on February 9th. She hadn't been quite right for a couple of months and though we thought we'd worked through her issues with a teeth floating and other health management she passed unexpectedly overnight. Thank you Stephanie Fulton for sponsoring her and Janine for caring for her, and to Kelly for bringing her under our wing back in 2008. Hannah would have been 31 years old this spring. I'm not great with dates and always find it surprising when I figure out how old some of our residents are. The years go by and we're all getting older. We have so many horses that have gotten up to and over 30 years of age without our even realizing it and sadly with advanced age come more health problems and eventually end of life. We are glad, even during the sad times when we lose one, that we are able to make their lives a little better while they are with us.
We received an urgent email on Feb 15th requesting our help regarding a situation with 20+ starving horses located in southern Alberta. After a flurry of emails and phone calls over the next few days we were able to arrange to drive down to pick up the horses on Tuesday the 18th. We borrowed a bigger stock trailer (thank you to our vet Dr. Erickson for the loaner), Janneane came along to help, and 2 more volunteers, Kim and her son Jamie, pulled our smaller stock trailer with their truck. The horses were in very bad shape and four had already been euthanized. They had been fed now for a week or so, though they were being fed hay that was too rich for their depleted systems. We were able to take 18 of the horses while another smaller rescue took 3 of them. It was a 4 hour drive to pick up the horses and over 4 hours to bring them back, as we were stopping to rest the horses and check on them during the drive. We arrived back at the Rescue at about 8 pm that night.
Right away when we arrived home 4 of the horses were in trouble and went straight into the barn for immediate care. Phoenix, the stallion, and DJ, a sorrel mare, seemed to be in better shape while 2 younger fillies, Nova, a sorrel filly, and Jasper, a bay filly, were in worse shape, though all 4 were eating and drinking and able to sit up during the first night. Because the horses were down (unable to stand), they had to be rolled over regularly and massaged and constantly monitored to ensure they didn't injure themselves or each other if they struggled to rise. We are so thankful for the army of volunteers who rallied together at such short notice to help care for these horses during this stressful and sad situation, giving them love and compassion and such tender care. Dr. Erickson, our vet, arrived by 6 am on Wed. morning to assess and tend to the horses. We had made the decision to euthanize little Jasper as her condition was quite bad by this point, but she passed away before we could do so. Phoenix and DJ were doing well and Dr. Erickson felt they should both pull through, though we believe Phoenix had minimal handling prior to this (was probably not even halter-broke) which added to his stress. Nova was not doing as well but we decided we had to give her a chance and hope for improvement during the day. Sadly and unexpectedly Phoenix took a turn for the worse by that afternoon and there was no improvement in Nova's condition throughout the day so when our vet returned that evening we decided it was best to let both of them go. They were euthanized quietly.
DJ the mare was doing well at this point, however she was still not able to stand and we knew we had to get her standing as she had been down for 24 hours. With everyone's help we were able to lift her with the tractor and straps and she was able to stand for an hour before she became too tired and had to lie down again. We decided to let her rest overnight and when we lifted her in the morning she was able to stand for three whole hours before laying down. Again we allowed her to rest for a bit and lifted her and this time she was able to stay standing! We thought she was definitely out of the woods and after monitoring her for 24 hours a day for the next couple of days we moved her into a stall where she could look out and see her pasture mates. She was doing so well that is was a shock when after 4 days we found her down again and unable to stand. Despite everyone's best efforts over the next 2 days we were unable to get her standing and by Tues afternoon she started to become distressed. We made the sad decision to have her euthanized but she passed at 3:15 pm on Tues. Feb. 18th just as the vet pulled up to the door. Everyone who spent time with DJ during her struggle was amazed at her calm and friendly demeanor. She was such a lovely mare and we are so saddened that she didn't make it.
This tragedy was difficult for all of us to deal with. Over the course of a week we lost 4 horses, but we saved 14 others and have many more here that still needed care and attention during this time. We are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support and compassion from all the people who cared about these horses and stepped in to help wherever they could. Thankfully the remaining 14 horses from this rescue seem to be doing well and already are settling in and improving daily. A special thank you to Celine Myers of The Ark Watch Foundation for the donation towards the care of these horses.
- the trip to pick up the horses - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152224228558728.1073741876.91031233727&
- the horses - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152223917348728.1073741875.91031233727&
- DJ - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152233466193728.1073741877.91031233727&
Thank you to Uschi and the Calgary Gymnastics Club for fundraising over $660 for the Rescue!
Thank you to Jim Muma, our accountant, for donating the year end accounting, and for the donation made in conjunction with my dad, Louis Kelemen!
Thank you to Craig and Todd for unloading a whole lot of feed and loading a whole lot of hay!
Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, and just plain cared, about these horses!