Breeding kindness: No animal turned away at safe haven for horses in Elburn

HORSE RESCUE — David Sharos, freelance reporter for The Courier-News, writes:

St. Charles resident Kris Anderson doesn’t regard herself as a horse whisperer, but she does admit hanging around horses has made her a more sensitive human being.

“Being around them has given me more of a unity and connection with living things,” Anderson said.

The retired 4th grade teacher now serves as a board member and volunteer for Casey’s Safe Haven in Elburn, a non-profit equine rescue facility founded in 2011 that has been accepting cast off horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that are later adopted, boarded, or allowed to live out their natural lives.

Anderson said finding this new chapter of life at Casey’s was the result of “an angel guiding me in the right direction.”

Sister Darbie and Casey's Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.
Sister Darbie and Casey’s Safe Haven resident donkey Petunia. Image from their website.

Casey founder Sue Balla of Elburn said she grew up in Downers Grove and that despite living in a horseless environment, they were always on her mind.

Changes in her life forced Balla to search for another outlet after the riding school closed. A friend suggested she lease a barn in Elburn and Casey’s Safe Haven was born, named after a horse purchased at an auction that became Balla’s friend for more than a quarter century.

Virtually no animal is turned away.

“Over the years, we’ve probably taken in about 50 animals and our mind set is to get them healthy and adopted,” Balla said. “On average, the animals need about two years to get healthy, but given that this is a sanctuary and rescue, some of them never leave.”

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Thank you Mr. Sharos for writing this story.

Featured Image: Casey’s Save Haven

New Bucksport residents raise rescued Clydesdales

BUCKPORT, Maine (The Elsworth American)  — Earlier this month, a Texas couple moved to Silver Lake Road with a very large 5-year-old. His name is Butch, and he is a 2,700-pound Clydesdale horse, but don’t let the size scare you.

“You’ll see they are just very giant puppy dogs,” said David Doane, who takes care of Butch, six other horses, a mule and a cat along with his wife, Michelle Rhodes. The whole bunch moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. “They would sit in your lap if they could figure out how to.”

Clydesdales are a large breed of horse used originally for pulling plows or hauling coal. Today the breed is famous for its appearance in Budweiser beer commercials, but it also plays a troubled role in the production of an estrogen-rich drug called Premarin, which is used to treat symptoms of menopause.

Premarin is made of the estrogen found in pregnant mare urine and, considering their size, Clydesdale mares produce a lot of urine. Several pharmaceutical companies put thousands of Clydesdale mares in pens, where they stayed for months at a time and urinated into bags. Once the mares delivered their foals, most of the foals were sold for slaughter, their meat shipped to consumers in Europe and Asia.

“It’s a nasty business,” Rhodes said. “They sell the babies to slaughter if people don’t adopt them.” Continue reading »

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David Doane smiles at Butch, one of his and his wife Michelle Rhodes’ seven horses. The gang, which also includes one mule and one cat, moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. The Elsworth American.

Help — Dozens of horses spared slaughter in Stark County, N.D. rescue

STARK COUNTY, N.D. (KFGO) — A court order issued by a Stark County District Court judge this week has saved approximately 70 horses from slaughter. At least thirty of the horses are ready to give birth. Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office seized the horses and some cattle described as “neglected and abused” from a ranch near Gladstone, North Dakota.

Mare and foal from 70 horses confiscated in S.D. horse cruelty case saved from slaughter by local rescue. Click image to help.
Mare and foal from 70 horses confiscated in S.D. horse cruelty case saved from slaughter by local rescue. Click image to help.

Authorities began an investigation into the large-scale animal neglect case last month. Dr. Kim Brummond of the West Dakota Veterinary Clinic in Dickinson says the animals were to be sold to a feed lot and then sent to slaughter in Canada.

However, after negotiations, Stark County decided the horses would be turned over to an animal rescue group. Brummond was at the ranch during the initial investigation and was shocked. She could smell dead animals, others in need of food and water. She calls it is was one of the most emotional animal abuse cases she’s seen.

Alison Smith, Founder of Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue in Mandan says the deal was finalized Tuesday night. She doesn’t know yet how her group will pay for hay and medical expenses and hopes the public can help. The aim is to find foster homes and eventually adopt the horses out.

The case remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.

Those willing to help can do so at the Triple H website or contact Smith at 701-220-4449.

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City of Fremont and the baby horse they rescued on Valentine’s Day one year ago today

Foal rescued by Fremont Police Department on Valentine's Day, 2016. Photo: Fremont Police Dept.

Updated 4:30 pm. You can see Valentine at age one year at the Fremont Police Dept’s Facebook page.

FREMONT, CALIF. — Kale Williams writing for The San Francisco Chronicle reported the following on February 19, 2016:

The Bay Area’s favorite baby horse, an injured foal that rescuers pulled from a ravine on Valentine’s Day, has a new owner: the city of Fremont.

The colt, nicknamed Valentine for the day he was discovered, had a broken pelvis near an artery, an injury that officials said would require a $10,000 surgery. A GoFundMe page was quickly set up by the folks at the Tri-City Animal Shelter and, in less than a week, more than $15,000 had been donated by almost 200 donors.

Valentine was taken to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where police said Friday he was making “good progress.”

“UC Davis had no idea what was coming their way when he arrived on Tuesday and we are very grateful to their staff for all that they are doing to care for our Valentine,” Fremont police wrote in a post on their Facebook page.

Foal rescued by Fremont Police Department on Valentine's Day, 2016. Photo: Fremont Police Dept.

But who owned Valentine, and who would take care of him after he recovered, remained a mystery until Wednesday, when his owner came forward to discuss the animal’s future with city officials.

“After a long meeting regarding Valentine’s current medical situation and future needs, it was mutually agreed that it was in the best interest of Valentine for the owner to surrender him to the City of Fremont,” police said. “The owner was very saddened by the circumstances of what happened and also very concerned for Valentine’s future.”

In what officials said was “possibly a first for our 60-year-old city,” ownership of the baby horse was turned over to Fremont, where Animal Services staff would work to find the best long-term home for Valentine.

The vet was surprised Valentine survived after spending two nights stuck at the bottom of a steep ravine lying in a creek. California firefighters rappelled down to rescue him. He was only days old. Well done police and firefighters. You are fantastic. Thank you. —Editor, Tuesday’s Horse.