The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a flurry... Not only were we assisting with a PSP hoarding and neglect situation of 25 horses close to home, but we also were asked to assist PSP Jonestown with a neglect case in their territory. Last week 2 Thoroughbred horses located just adjacent to Penn National were found in deplorable condition along with 2 other horses in acceptable condition. The owner had been reprimanded by humane welfare agents almost a year earlier for the condition of her horses and some were taken, sent to homes that could provide for them. The remaining four, now renamed Noel, Elf, Grinch, and Kringle, were left under the owner's care under the fearful watch of the surrounding community, knowing what would become of them as the cold winter months set in. Recently, a plea was sent to the PA State Police by the elderly owner of the farm the horses were essentially abandoned on. The 4 horses' owner had been informed she was no longer welcome to carry on neglect fully owning the horses on the property when it was noted they were going days at a time without being fed and their appearances were beginning to show it. Still, they were left for months, without change to care or notice of removal. The owner of the property fed the horses what she could out of her own pocket, while desperately contacting people she thought may be able to help. Trooper Shelley from PSP was finally reached and she knew just who to call in an emergency effort to save these horses lives. Noel and Elf were so malnourished, with body score conditions of 2, Dr Renee Nodine of Horseshoe Valley Equine agreed to take them to her veterinary hospital immediately to begin their care. She provided fecal tests, blood tests, wormer for the parasites that invaded the bodies of the two skeleton like bodies, and a soothing warm scrub to the worst matted areas on the horses, like under their tails. Rain rot ( a fungal infection of the skin) still remains over most of the two's bodies, as well as other sores under their thick dingy coats. This will not be able to be fully addressed until the two can handle the cold stress of a bath. As with most severe cases of rain rot, the horses will lose large patches of their coats due to the damage of the disease.
While the rescue here at home is full, we are blessed with the helping hands of our friends at Cutting Edge of Ickesburg, PA. Bonnie, her husband Rob, and fellow trainer Kait, did not hesitate for one minute when asked if they could help not one, not two, not three, but ALL FOUR of these horses rehabilitate, train, and hopefully find forever homes.
The day came for pickup and all horses loaded successfully except for the last, the horse now known as Kringle. No one wanted to leave him behind. Despite receiving heavy sedation, he still refused to load and started to lash out like a cornered animal. It was bitterly cold and the churned knee high blackened sewage surrounding the only hay available was enough to make everyone want to cry for Kringle. We all knew that if he did not load at all, there was no way for us to care for him - and the others needed to get to Cutting Edge quickly to reduce cold stress and get food and water back in front of them. A new plan was formulated. Kringle would have to stay until we came up with a better plan. The farm owner promised to keep a close eye on him and let us know if he needed hay... the next day was Christmas and we knew it was pushing too far to try to talk someone into trying their hand at him differently over the holiday. Everyone hoped desperately a miracle would fall into our laps... The only other remaining option was euthanasia and no one felt completely well about that choice, he was such a sweet horse otherwise, and lack of handling was no fault of his own.
Over the next few days there were several meetings of the minds and attempts to get Kringle into a better situation... Beth McCann, owner of nearby Nobodaddy Farm even offered to walk him the 2 miles down the road and offered refuge at her barn until we could work something out for his transport, but a snowstorm proved the busy road inbetween the farms too treacherous. In a Hail Mary type move I contacted Deborah Jones, a thoroughbred advocate we have worked with in the past. Because Kringle was a Thoroughbred, I hoped she may have some nearby contacts that would be willing to help. Together, we came up with a list. At the top was local trainers and past thoroughbred rescue donors, Neil and Kathy Parker. They agreed to help. We came up with a plan - use the largest most open trailer we can find and NO RESISTANCE OR FORCING... Only positive reinforcement and lots of yummy treats. We're not sure which element of this plan worked for Kringle... the open trailer, big bucket of grain, or perhaps the fact that he was left alone in a cold now frozen field for the majority of a week without much other interaction. Maybe he knew this very well be his very last chance at a whole new life. Whatever it was, it worked for him. Kringle loaded without incident, happily munching grain, like he had done it for years. Everyone was floored. Neil and Kathy reported the success of the load and off they went to Cutting Edge to deliver their surprise package - a happy Kringle ready for his new life. Special thanks to The Parkers for donating Kringle's hauling expenses :)

So today starts day 1 of the successful rescue and hopefully rehab of our newest Happy Tails family members, Noel, Elf, Grinch and Kringle. We hope you will join us in their journey to and through adoption! They each individually will have needs - some more than others - and we hope you can help us with them. Mostly, daily care items such as Sentinel LS or Kalm Ultra feed, bedding, quality hay, rice bran oil, beet pulp shreds, and heavy blankets are needed. Please contact us if you are able to help! We will also be running fundraisers specifically for these four if you would like to give that way.

Thank you in advance for your support!

And Elf