Friday, July 2, 2010

An amazing journey

Submitted by UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies

As of Monday, the last of the horses rescued in Wayne County, West Virginia were on their way to the beginning of their new lives. More than half of the horses were adopted out locally to beautiful, lush, huge farms right in the area of the temporary shelter. The remaining 21 horses were transported to Paradise Stables in Maryland. This is an amazing boarding facility, and the owners have agreed to care for the horses until they are adopted. Many of them were already spoken for even prior to transport, and upon unloading, many of the staff fell hard for some of our gorgeous friends. (Watch a video of the horses' arrival in Maryland from The Humane Society of the United States.)

Three of our lucky girls (Eve aka Cemetery Girl, a tall, gorgeous, black mare in the back pasture; Spinner, an Appaloosa who was videotaped going stir crazy and spinning in her stall on the property; and Karla aka Joan) got to go to Black Beauty Rescue in Texas, one of the nation’s best sanctuaries.

This was an amazing journey. Starting even before the horses got there, honing our shelter remodeling skills to a science; to seizure day and seeing the horribly depressed states they were in; to watching their bodies and personalities blossom was something I will never forget. With continuous hay, fresh water, shade, loving attention and even sawdust to roll in, they probably thought they were in heaven. The hard work, sweat, tears, bruises and aching muscles were worth every minute to see these shiny, happy beauties get loaded up to go home with their new, adoring families.

I, of course, was smitten with quite a few of them. Marlie Girl, in sick bay (one of the most emaciated who came to us after a week of intensive care at the emergency clinic) really stole my heart. Everyday when I mucked her stall she would follow me around thinking I must be hiding treats in one of my pockets (OK, most of the time I was). She would then stand behind me and put the full weight of her head on my shoulder as I cleaned her stalls. Apparently I needed a little more resistance in my daily workout to get the full effect. I couldn’t complain, it was such sweet and trusting behavior. After all she’d been through, she still just loved everybody. If only horses could be considered carry-on luggage….

I thank each and every Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteer from the bottom of my heart for all of their grueling hard work and compassion for these horses. When they left our shelter, they were completely different animals. They were always beautiful, but now it shines through in their coats, their stride and most of all, their eyes.

Again thank you, thank you all for your work, your kind words, your donations and your support. You make it possible for all of us to continue on caring for all of the animals in crisis out there who need us. I’ll leave you with one final sentiment, as a volunteer recently wrote: "May you never see the Mothman on a bridge."


  1. Barbara Marrow7/6/10, 2:07 PM

    Thank YOU Janell for always being able to reflect our sentiments. This last entry and the 'paradise' video provide much needed closure and all the reason any of us could possibly need to keep going...


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