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Saving neglected horses from a meth lab

Posted in Fundraising

Here’s another heartwarming horse rescue story written by Escalante Springs, our December animal fundraiser.

In the autumn of 2010, Escalante Springs received a call from Triple R Equine Rescue in Queen’s Creek, Arizona. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, in raiding a methamphetamine lab, found a small herd of severely neglected, malnourished, and abused horses and asked Escalante Springs to take a couple of mares who appeared to be bonded to one another. One was believed to be pregnant.

Buy bracelets online to benefit the rescued horses.

When the two arrived, the older one, we named Mama (or Beautiful Mama) and the younger one Sugar. Mama showed some sign of having had better relations with humans in the past, but both were pretty wild to the point of being unimpressed by a lead line and having little trust. Both were malnourished, especially Mama. When veterinarian Tom Johnson examined them, he said that he could not confirm a viable pregnancy.
For the first few weeks, Mama did little except eat, sleep, and poop. Unlike other malnourished horses, she did not appear to add any muscle mass whatsoever, though her belly did enlarge to the point that Dr. Johnson confirmed fetal movement. Over the following weeks, the pregnancy became more and more obvious, though she still seemed to be sending all nutrition directly to the foal, putting on little or no muscle mass of her own.

Eventually her nipples enlarged and she began to exude colostrum, a sure sign that a delivery was imminent. We had concerns about the likelihood that a fetus exposed to such severe early malnutrition would be viable. Finally, a night came when Mike and Dani both felt strongly that Mama would foal that night.

Buy bracelets online to benefit the rescued horses.

Through this evening and the first half of the night, Mike made repeated trips down to the corral, but saw no evidence that a birth was progressing. At about 3 AM, Dani went out for one more check and again saw no sign of onset of labor. At 6 AM, Mike woke up, went outside, and found a cocky young colt standing at the fence giving him a look that clearly regarded him as the intruder.

This was only a few days after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been the target of an attempted assassination. Initially thinking our newborn was a filly, we named her Gabrielle. A few days later the male appendage dropped into view and we had to change his name to Gabrial.

From the onset Gabrial was a confident and healthy young guy. After a couple of years, they started him under saddle and shortly thereafter Gabrial was adopted (along with another horse, Brownie) by a co-worker of Mike’s and her husband. Gabrial is now a working ranch horse. As soon as her foal was delivered, Mama started to put on weight, filled out nicely, and developed the powdered sugar appearance of an Appaloosa. She has also been adopted out to her forever home.

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