"Saving a Life Means the World to the Life You Saved"
"Saving a Life Means the World to the Life You Saved"
From Cruelty and Neglect to Health, from near Death to Living, She Survived With Your Help!
In short, Feather, a 7-year-old Dun Appaloosa Mare ~ 15 hands high, has been a Survivor of more than any soul should endure. We raised funds to send her to a very special trainer for 120 days to help her trust people and to receive an education to help her become a horse that can have a full life!
Feather was turned over to our rescue in Feb 2018 from Animal Control & the Sherriff Deputy in charge of the case. During Feather's ordeal, her first human handling was the end of a cattle prod shocker, being herded onto a large trailer with her herd, stressed out not knowing where her baby was and how to protect her baby. This type of handling continued for the next 3 weeks where she was shipped in inhumane conditions from WV to Ohio, run through an Auction, bought by a Kill Buyer, shipped to TX, awaiting shipment to Mexico for slaughter, then saved on the last night, stayed in TX for a week then shipped back to WV under inhumane conditions again - all while trying to feed and protect her baby. She arrived back in WV then humanely shipped to rescue in VA where she finally was able to rest with her baby in peace and start her rehabilitation.
Here are the basics of her story as we know it.
She was one of a 39 horse cruelty seizure in Jan 2018 in West Virginia. The herd of mostly Appaloosa horses were in a hoarding and neglect situation. Many had died on the farm and some were still alive but had to be euthanized on the farm. 39 were removed from the farm by Law Enforcement. The herd was put in the care of a local horse trader, since the County didn't have a place to put that many horses. The trader shipped and sold the herd at an Auction in Ohio - this was done without the consent of the County Law Enforcement. Many concerned rescues and individuals helped the Officer in charge track down and save as many as possible.
Feather and a group of 13 others were apparently sold to a "kill buyer" at the Ohio auction and shipped on a livestock hauler to Texas, during the trip one horse died on the trailer. They were scheduled to be shipped to Mexico but the Officer from West Virginia located them and deemed them "stolen goods" on Sunday night so their shipment to Mexico on Monday was halted! The horses remained in holding at the kill lot in Texas for a week. They received only basic meager care while there. Though our rescue advocated for the horses to be handed over to TX rescue's the WV Sheriff Office required them to return to WV. Against our wishes they had the kill buyer transport them back, during that return trip another horse died on the trailer. When they were unloaded in WV, the remaining survivors were immediately turned over to our rescue. We immediately had the herd seen by a veterinarian to receive medical care. All the horses were rehabilitated and adopted throughout the next year except for Feather.
Unknown to us initially but realized upon settling in at our Foster Facility in WV Feather had a foal (baby) that had endured the entire ordeal with her and we reunited them. Feather and her baby Skyy came to our farm in VA to continue their rehabilitation. Upon acquiring good health and age, her baby was eventually weaned and put into a foster home. Feather remained at our rescue farm for further emotional rehabilitation.
After 4 months at Rugby Creek Rescue, through a grant with the HSUS, Feather was sent to a trainer close-by just to learn to be touched and wear a halter and respond to learning to lead. Her session there did accomplish her learning to wear a halter, lead and tie - however it did not gain any of her trust, in fact she was more reactive and scared.
In the winter of 2018 we received a donation and sent her to a Mustang trainer nearby. The goal was to see if she was reachable, if not, we would make the hard decision to let her go. This trainer was able to "reach Feather" and had her accept his presence and changed her fight and flight to curiousity. She was "reacheable". The funding ran out and Feather was brought back to the rescue farm. But we saw progress! Her eyes had a softer and more inquisitive look rather than a terrified look. She had started to think us humans might not be so bad after all.
Feather spent 2019 at our farm, learning to be a happy pasture horse! She played and frolicked with her friends and came to the gate when they did. We had a few learning sessions with her throughout 2019 and she really did TRY and wanted to Trust but it took consistency to break through this last wall.
So, WITH YOUR HELP, funds were raised for Feather to go to Shelby Cheyenne Horsemanship in Indiana.
She has been adopted and is living a full life.
Thanks to everyone who contributed toward her new and happy life!!
SCH graciously offered to donate one month of training for Feather!! We raised $3000 to give Feather a full 120 days of training and a trip to Indiana to SCH.
SCH's philosophy is simple, give your horse a solid foundation and he will give you everything he has. The SCH program includes high quality feed, plenty of turn-out time and an individual approach tailored to suit each horse's unique needs.
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