It’s been a busy summer with many community needs. Through generous donations from supporters via Global Giving, USERL was able to immediately assist two cases needing critical assistance.
Lil Gypsy arrived to the USERL Horse Program April 14, 2011. She was found abandoned in a NC county. When no one came forward to claim her, the county contacted USERL to assist her. She was very thin, had been clipped/sheared (probably due to a severe skin condition she had) and was lame in 3 of her limbs. Lil’ Gypsy was accepted into the USERL Horse Program and received medical care, nutrition and socialization (she is very timid) and has now fully recovered. She will be available for adoption soon thanks to your donations!
A second recipient of our Global Giving donator’s generosity was a mare and foal from a cruelty case in Virginia. The mare, very weak from starvation, was too far gone and humanely euthanized within days of coming into USERL. Her two month old foal, now an orphan, is severely stunted from lack of milk, has limb deformities from malnutrition and an umbilical hernia that may need surgical treatment. Transported to a critical care foster rehab farm, the foal who is now named “Stori” is getting stronger every day. Although she is two months old, she is being cared for like a newborn since her body is so fragile and receives formula every two hours (many small meals), a supplement for her severe anemia and daily exercise with her companion mare to strengthen her legs. She now runs and acts more like a healthy foal every day!
Cases such as Lil’ Gypsy and Stori exemplify what USERL offers to counties, providing immediate shelter, veterinary care and nutrition for neglect/abuse cases. The counties call needing help right then, with no time to fundraise prior to their arrival. Their need is immediate. With your help, USERL was able to help the same day the counties called about Lil’ Gypsy and Stori. With your support, USERL can help the next horse in need, the next county that calls.
While coming into our busiest time of the year for equine neglect cases, USERL was contacted by a NC county on April 4th asking for assistance with an abandoned horse. The horse was found in someone's pasture early that morning. Covered in mud and very thin with severely infected wounds on his legs and body, he needed immediate assistance. USERL brought a vet to assess him to see what he would need.
The vet had difficulty in completing a full examination due to the mud and debris on the leg wounds, but felt a complete exam at a referral clinic would help all decide in how best to help this horse, whether it be treatment or humane euthanasia to end his suffering. He was young, alert and grateful for the help he was receiving. The vet treated him for the night with pain meds and a USERL investigator fed him a "mush". The next morning he was transported to NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine.
Nicknamed "Tyler" by his transporters, he arrived at NCSU and was thoroughly evaluated. Tyler had two old, severely infected wounds on his legs: one on the front right and another on the left hind. Other wounds were present over his body, but these were found to be the most serious. After diagnostics were completed, options were discussed. None of the options held much hope for Tyler to recover with a good quality of life. It was decided that the best option was to humanely euthanize him to end his suffering. Tyler was only two years old.
This update doesn't sound like it has a happy ending, but it does. Or at least a peaceful ending. Some horses come to USERL too broken to mend or too tired to fight. Tyler was one of those. But we can still give them the gift of ending their suffering humanely. Your generous donations to this project allowed USERL to accept him into our program, to give him a thorough evaluation of his injuries and health, and lastly, to give him a peaceful death when recovery was found to be unlikely. Tyler was bathed and pampered, fed carrots/apples/sweetfeed and hay before releasing him from his pain. Your donation gave him comfort and release.
As we continue to deal with the decrease in donations, the poor economy and the rising feed/hay costs, it is our hope that you will continue to support this program and help many more horses. Most horses do recover and thrive in our program, going on to be adopted into new, loving homes. A few, like Tyler, need our help to end their suffering. Help us help them when they need us the most. Donate today and make a difference!
Thank you for your support!
Thus far in 2011, the winter has proven to be difficult again for horses with owners that are struggling financially in this poor economy, or who did not realize the cost of care for a horse was so expensive. Due in part to your generous donations, we’ve been able to help a few in 2011, but many more have needed assistance.
Your help could make a difference to just one horse that needs immediate shelter to receive life-saving care. Horses like “Wee Biscuit” (see photos), a young miniature horse with a horrendous old wire fence injury. Wee’s owners could not afford veterinary care and were struggling to care for themselves. When asked if USERL could take him into the program and provide veterinary care, USERL was able to do so because of your donations early this year, which helped cover a small portion of his initial veterinary evaluation and diagnostics regarding his injury. Without access to funds to help cover those costs, USERL would not have been able to bring in Wee for evaluation and his suffering would have continued.
During that veterinary evaluation, it was discovered that wire was still wrapped around the inside of “Wee Biscuit’s” hind leg. The injury, having occurred in August of 2010, had healed over the wire and remained severely infected. Once a decision was made that Wee may be able to overcome this with surgery, fundraising began to cover his expensive surgery and post-op care. All funds were raised for Wee through the supporters of USERL and he is expected to recover and have a quality life! But your donations here gave USERL the ability to accept him in the program for evaluation. Other’s like “Wee Biscuit” are waiting for help, injured, neglected or abandoned. Can you help USERL help them?
It is almost Christmas, and the end of the year, and USERL is working hard to assist horses in need. The down economy and the unseasonable weather in the southern regions of the United States have warranted many critical needs for horses!
On December 2nd, North Carolina Randolph County Animal Control Services seized 3 horses following months of investigation and education, from a Sophia NC resident, Martha Montgomery. The horses were in poor weight condition, having deteriorated over the past several months. USERL was asked to house a stallion who was kept in an unsanitary stall, underweight and with marked hoof overgrowth, deterioration and painful infection.
A veterinarian and farrier team worked on the stallion's hooves prior to transporting him to USERL due to his difficulty in walking/balancing during transportation. The stallion was then transported to the USERL - NC Triangle Region for rehabilitation. His hooves are infected from severe thrush, with the entire hoof frog eaten away, deep sulcus thrush in his heel bulbs and painful ulcerations in the soles of his hooves. Treatments of Epsom salt baths for the ulcerations, towel drying and a topical antibiotic/antifungal solution are helping with the pain, and with the healing.The owner has been formerly charged with 2 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty (14-360A) for the other two horses sheltered at HERO's, and one count Class H Felony (14-360B) for the stallion in the USERL Horse Program. The felony is being charged under the new “Suzy’s Law” in North Carolina passed on June 24, 2010, which increases the penalty for intentional cruel treatment to animals from a Class I Felony to a Class H Felony. The new law came into effect December 1, 2010.
With tougher penalties for intentional cruelty to animals in North Carolina, the needs of the counties USERL serves increases. Without proper facilities to care for the horses, the counties cannot pursue cruelty cases when needed to protect the animals. Thanks to your donations, this stallion was able to come into the USERL Horse Program and get immediate treatment for the painful infection in his hooves, and nutrition to regain his health. Go to our website for updates on his condition and court case. And view our commerative USERL Christmas Video showing just a few examples of horses helped through our program, many of which were assisted through this project!
USERL wishes all our supporters a Merry Christmas and a Blessed year in the coming 2011!
AS THE economy struggles to right itself, so do the horses affected by it. Their higher cost of care puts them in danger of neglect or being passed along to an unsuitable home much quicker than other “pets” affected by financial duresss. As of December 6, 2010, USERL has sheltered 100 horses in our program, assisting counties in North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky with care of horses surrendered or seized from cruelty investigations. That’s half of USERL’s average intake, but that decrease is, unfortunately, not due to less need for our services. Like many nonprofits, donations are down during the economic crisis and that therefore affects USERL’s ability to accept horses in need into our Horse Program.
But we have made a difference to 100 horses! That’s one hundred horses that had no other options to escape from their neglected existence. One hundred that now have a second chance at life, a good home and a loving family.
Like Maggie Faith (see photo), who was found in a church parking lot one Sunday morning in October. Weak from malnutrition, she could not have traveled far. She was never claimed by her previous owner, and it could be that she was left there deliberately by a desperate owner who could not afford to care for her needs. Or Ziggy (see photo), a small malnourished and stunted 2 year old colt found running loose on the road in September. He likely escaped to forage for food. No one claimed him either, and USERL took him into the program to give him the winter to get healthy and hopefully catch up on some much needed growth (he is currently the size of a 6 month old) before he is adopted into a new home.
With the rush of horses on the market, underweight horses like Maggie and Ziggy have no chance of being “purchased” into a better home. Too many healthy, trained horses are available to give them that chance, and the expense to make them healthy again is just too much (more than their “value” at sale). And counties have little options for horses involved in cruelty investigations. With no budget or facilities for caring for seized/surrendered horses, their only option is to continue to monitor the horses under the owner’s care, even when it’s obvious that the needed care is not forthcoming. Instead, these horses, donkeys and mules are forgotten with many suffering a slow painful death from starvation.
Thanks to supporters through this Global Giving project, 7 additional horses and one donkey were assisted into their new life this year, including Maggie and Ziggy! That’s eight this year that would have been “forgotten” if not for your support! Help USERL help more horses in need with your donation for their feed, hay, bedding, veterinary and farrier care (100% of the proceeds from this project go directly to these costs for care).
Winter is just beginning, and many more will need our help…
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