An emaciated horse who was put up for auction has had her story shared by her rescuer.
Smoke, an elderly mare, was rescued by Tawnee Priesner, co-founder of the Horse Plus Humane Society, after she received a call from an auction house in America. Tawnee aged Smoke at being in her 30s and could tell from her condition that the old mare had suffered for a long time.
“I never get used to seeing horses this emaciated,” explains Tawnee. “It’s hard, no matter how many years you do rescue work, knowing that this horse has suffered for a long time to get her into this condition. It doesn’t happen overnight!”
Tawnee loaded Smoke onto her trailer and took the mare back to her shelter. Once home, she released Smoke into a field with one of Tawnee’s other rescues, Ace.
“Smoke was happy to have a friend and started grazing with Ace,” says Tawnee. “The next day Smoke was doing ok. I could tell she was enjoying being a horse in a green pen.”
While looking after Smoke, Tawnee noticed that the mare had deep ridges on her withers.
“I’ve seen this before and it always makes me so angry,” explains Tawnee. “Somebody put a saddle on her and rode her in this emaciated condition. All the pressure from the saddle rubbed right through her hide. I cannot imagine how hard and painful this was for her.”
On the third day of Smoke being at the shelter, the mare was eating hay and enjoying some much-needed peace.
“Later I saw her lay down in the morning sun,” says Tawnee. “I started getting worried. When horses in Smoke’s condition lay down, it is extremely hard for them to get back up. I went out to her and she seemed very relaxed, but tired.
“I saw her try to get up on her own several times, but despite her best efforts, she couldn’t get her body to do what she wanted it to. I knew it was time to say goodbye and I knew the vet would agree. The vet said most likely she had multiple medical conditions due to her old age and her body was just shutting down.”
Tawnee has shared Smoke’s story to show how worthwhile rescuing and giving horses happiness is, no matter how short the time.
“Every animal deserves love and kindness,” says Tawnee. “Any animal in a bad situation should be taken out of that situation and shown love and respect, even if it is only to spend three days with them and show them someone cared and was there with them in the end.”