Back in the rainy, wet weather of late winter, we were requested to help Yamhill County Sheriff department with a welfare check on two horses and two alpacas. Neighbors had contacted the sheriff after they noticed carpeting peices being taken to a pasture, horse blankets being piled on a mound of what they thought was mud, with the final disconcerting actions of placing a plastic tarp over the mound in the dark of night,during high winds.
At about 9pm, a call comes to the shelter: "Hello, this is Deputy....., we need your assistance at a location for a welfare check". O.K. what time tomorrow will you need us to meet you? "Deputy: This can't wait, I'll meet you there in 20 minutes".
We donned our boots, raincoats, and bundled up in as much cold weather gear as possible. Upon arrival at the property, the sheriff was waiting, lights flashing. He had donned his rain gear as well. He stoicly walked through a rickety wire gait to the mounded blankets, carpet, and plastic tarp. We soon also came through the gate, pulling our boots from feet deep of sticky mud to get there. As we prepared to lift the tarp, we look to the porch of the house. The owner was drinking beer, laughing with friends. They sent a 6 year old little girl, in her pajamas with no rain or cold weather gear, with an ice-cream bucket of water, to us.
As we lifted the tarp, we found the mare; a leopard appaloosa whose ribs resembled a washboard, not a horse. Her backbone was protruding, hips were gouged into to the muddy groun. She had bubbles, mucous, and blood dripping from her nose as she was on her way out of this life from starvation and untreated pneumonia. The little girl told us the water was for the horse when she set the bucket down. She wanted to know when the mare will stand as her parents gave her that horse, we let her know to ask her parents why the horse isn't standing. She ran back to the house. We heard yelling on the porch and the little girl was hurried inside.
Shortly thereafter, in our arms, the mare passed. Shivering, blue gums, eyes recessed into her head from severe dehydration, and of course starved. We asked the owners if they had any other horses as it was pitch black in darkness during the storm that late at night. The owners denied having any other horses. We did a sweep of the property and found another. She was standing in a shed with an alpaca laying next to her. Her ear tips were frozen off, her ribs were showing. She had to get through 3' of mud to have gotten in to the broken down shelter. The alpaca wouldn't move and was very thin as well. Another alpaca was also found on the property and was quite berserk. All remaining animals needed rescue.
Through teamwork of the United SPCA and exogent circumstances found by the sheriff, the remaining animals were immediately removed. Defiantly, the owners stopped us after we approached our trailer and asked why we weren't taking the dead horse with us too. What do we say to a question like that? We had no answer. The animals, we were told by the owners, would not load in the trailer to leave. As soon as the team opened the trailer doors, they all jumped in and never looked back. We all left in tears mourning the loss of the appaloosa mare, but rejoicing in saving the other three animals.
The remaining animals survived after rescue and actually flourished in their new environment provided by the United SPCA shelter. Your donations are the only reason we have happy endings to these stories. Please help us continue to save animals, we can't do this without you.
September was a severe forest fire time in the Coast and Cascade Mountain ranges. What was a horrible fire in the mountains, had a silver lining bringing two starving horses through our doors for care.
The owner of four horses was evacuated from her home due to the area of the fire and wind conditions threatening her farm. She had two stallions that had been unhandled from colts and were now 5 and 7 years old, and a 23 year old mare that had foaled in August with a one month old colt at her side. She set the two stallions loose into the mountains to fend off the fire on their own. The mare and colt were able to be loaded into a steel trailer and hauled from the area to a neighbor a few miles away. The two horses were kept in the trailer as the day heated up to over 100 degrees. The neighbor convinced the owner after seeing their condition to release the horses to the United SPCA.
The owner came by the shelter to evaluate the operation. We educated her in understanding costs of care, what we will do for her for the fire; care would be free until she was able to return to her home. The owner decided to bring the horses to the shelter for fire evacuation care. We were not expecting to see what we did.
Out from the trailer came a walking skeleton with skin covering bones of a mare with no udder to nurse her foal. The foal at one month old had no energy and was thin, desparately trying to nurse from his mother whose udder was raw from lack of milk. His shoulder bones, hips and ribs were protruding. Both were severely dehydrated, close to heat exhaustion being kept in the steel trailer for over a day.
We began an education process for the owner. She let us know what she was feeding the horses, and let us know that one of the stallions was the sire of the foal, but she didn't know which one, and that the mare may have been bred again by one of the stallions despite having a foal at her side. We helped with providing nutritional, medical, and farrier knowledge. We reviewed the true costs of care for a pregnant mare, and helped with understanding the most critical nutritional time to help a mare with lactation where intake calories need to be at least doubled. We let her know that a dental is needed for the 23 year old mare and the cost is about $200.00. The colt will need to be castrated with a cost of about $150.00. This procedure needs to be done before the colt is a year old, so the colt won't breed his mother. She let us know she could not adequately care for her horses or provide the necessary common veterinary care, but she didn't want to surrender the horses either despite knowing they'd be in a better situation and survive.
The following day, the owner arrived with her neighbor to visit the horses. Teary eyed, she made the decision to surrender the horses to the United SPCA. It is this type of education that we need to continue to bring to the public. Your donations will help us with our mission. Please support the United SPCA.
Our shelter is growing in its population of horses needing care, and our savings for our project is staying static. We need your help to make a better life for starving horses. Our education program has no office or indoor facility to teach others how to care for their animals, how to stop starvation, and law enforcement needs our support as well.
Six more horses arrived March 8th in starving conditions. If we can get this center built, we may have been able to stop their harm by starvation and neglect. In addition to saving for the teaching facility, we utilize donations as you request for hay, farrier care, grain, bedding, medical supplies and more to ensure the best potential recovery available for horses whose owners have tossed them out. Horses that are not wild, cannot survive behind a fenced enclosure where no care for their well-being is provided. They live without forage of any kind, without clean water, some without water for days, without medical care; some barely hang on to life with only skin left over their bones as they have digested their own muscle mass to survive.
We are to be a progressive world, yet we choose to ignore the animals. That choice has a strong link to lack of care for children as well. Help us improve the lives of animals through education. Despite not having a classroom, two 4-H groups of kids have visited the shelter and had no idea people could be so cruel to an animal that is so giving. If we could reach more people through an education center, we can really help to stop neglect and cruelty of animals together!
Your donations saved Lyza, Maka Nani, and more. New arrivals challenge us again. Please be giving, we need your support every day.
As we all know, winter is a cold time of year when forage is no longer accessible on pasture, and some owners cannot feed their horses. This is the time when the most starvation cases arrive at our doors; this year is no different.
After a frigid week of near zero temperatures, water lines freezing, the ground hard as rock, crystallized with ice as well, a sweet arabian mare was left without food or blankets, yet she survived, barely. Her owners thought it was cute to see her legs tremble at the site of food, and told us that she also had a hard time standing. She just didn't want to get up. What they didn't want to believe is that those are all signs that she was close to death.
Our local sheriff stepped in after calls from the community started flowing in to their dispatch. The sheriff contacted us, we were sent to her rescue. A small, sweet mare we call Lyza was found barely able to walk. Every rib, her hips, and neck vertebrae were noticeable from a distance. Her hind legs are contorted from her muscles and tendons being catabolized in her body's last attempt to survive. Her eyes are dull and her vision is diminished from malnutrition. She was hypothermic and needed support to walk a straight line, and stand on her own.
There will be more like her in these coming months. Please help us educate people to avoid situations that Lyza endured, and help us provide safe shelter until she recovers. She needs alfalfa to help her body regain the much needed protein she was left without for months, a new warm blanket, and most of all affection from all of our volunteers to give her a reason to live.
When horses are this far down, they seldom recover, but we are giving her round-the-clock care. She is a trooper and we are giving her the best chance for recovery with 24 hour care.
Please help us help horses, No horse needed to endure what Lyza has. Education is the key to prevent this from happening - we are slowly getting there with your help. Please donate today.
It has been a few months since we last updated you of the happenings at the shelter. Just a month ago, before winter even began to set in, another group of horses was found wanting of adequate care to avoid starvation and malnutrition. We worked with a local sheriff department to bring these horses here, to save their lives. They were found covered in thousands of parasite eggs, had several areas of untreated skin disease, coated in flies. They found care and affection at the United SPCA shelter.
We also were able to locate qualified adopters for several of our rescues, provided a youth group educational program, and presented disaster preparedness training to a coalition of feline animal rescue organizations.
Your donations are the only way we can continue our efforts in rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, and education. Please help us continue our efforts in education and rescue! We rely on you, so that you can rely on us to help animals in need.
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