On September 24, at the request of the Days End Farm Horse Rescue located in Howard County, MD, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team were dispatched to assist in the care of eight critically ill and neglected horses seized from an equine rescue group in West Virginia.
In late September, authorities served a search warrant to Mary O'Brien, founder of Hidden Meadows Equine Rescue in Martinsburg, WV, where more than 50 severely neglected equines were found living without access to food or water. Days End Farm Horse Rescue was contacted and accepted eight of the most critically ill horses, transporting them to the farm for emergency care. Unfortunately, one of the equines did not survive.
Kristen Limbert, Manager of Field Operations for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, is currently on the ground in Maryland with other ASPCA team members skilled in horse handling. "Our immediate goal is to help the Days End Farm Horse Rescue care for these neglected horses," says Kristen. "The staff here is very dedicated, but providing 'round the clock care is hard work—we are glad to provide them support."
The following entries are from a series of field reports from Kristen on the ground in Howard County.
Field Report 1
Tonight is long and cold—it's in the 50s and pouring rain. The horses must be fed every two hours, on the even hour. They can eat hay around the clock, but it is fed to them out of a bag with two-inch holes—this way, they must pick at it, eating very slowly.
Since they are so emaciated, ingesting any large amount of food at one time could be deadly for them. Since the horses require 24-hour monitoring, we are taking turns sleeping—a couple of hours each on a folding chair wrapped in horse blankets. We blanketed the horses as well. Healthy horses would be fine in this weather, but these seven have little fat to keep them warm—many are actually shivering, which I've never seen a horse do before.
Field Report 2
They are all such great horses, with amazing personalities—especially given all they have been through. I groomed them all today, and treated them for hoof infections. A few showed sensitivity to being brushed because they are so thin. Despite it all, I am continually surprised at how cooperative they are—there is no doubt they know we are here to help.
Two of our sickest horses, Zodiac and Yogi, especially understand that we are here for them. Zodiac fell down and did quite a bit of damage to his frail body, with cuts and bruises everywhere. He is now supported by an Anderson Sling—he simply isn't strong enough to hold himself up. His eyes are infected, too, and it's hard for him to keep them open. In spite of his poor health, he keeps on fighting to survive.
I have also become especially close with Yogi—a feisty mare who is just skin and bones. Throughout the day she spikes fevers, requiring alcohol baths to help bring them down. I have found myself working with both of these horses nearly all the time, as they require the most care. I am just so moved by their will to heal—and the trust they are beginning to show me.
Stay tuned to the ASPCA Blog for more exclusive field reports from the scene in Howard County. For ways you can help Days End Farm Horse Rescue, please visit www.defhr.org.
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and that means it’s time to pay tribute to all things canine and get more homeless pups into forever homes. To get the party started, we’ve prepared a special section on ASPCA.org devoted to the lovable, loyal shelter pooch. Whether you’re an experienced dog guardian or are thinking about adopting in the future, this is the place to celebrate and find answers to all your questions about shelter dogs.
Learn how to find the right dog for you, use our nationwide search tool to find him, and then read all about how to keep him happy, healthy and entertained for the duration of your lives together! And aspiring Spielbergs, take note: you can make your pup a star by entering our Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month video contest! You have plenty of time to produce your masterpiece—the deadline for submissions is October 31.
Head over to aspca.org/ASDM to read all about it, and remember—there are millions of wonderful, adorable shelter dogs in our country who need homes, so please opt to adopt!
National radio deejay Trey Morgan has long sought to give back to his communitybut like many of us, he wasn’t quite sure where to begin or how to spare the time. Not easily defeated, Trey created 30 Deeds, 30 Days, a campaign to challenge himself and motivate others to donate their time to local charities.
30 Deeds, 30 Days set Trey and his wife, Brooke, on a journey to volunteer with 30 different charitable organizationsone for each day of the month of September. On September 28, the couple brought their good-deed campaign to the ASPCA, where they spent the day making a difference in the lives of our shelter cats and dogs.
“Taking the time to volunteer with abused, neglected and homeless animals has been such a rewarding experience,” explains Trey. “Whether walking dogs, cleaning cages or working to help an animal overcome his fearsvolunteers truly do make a difference.”
Check out our inspiring video of Trey and Brooke as they share their experience volunteering at the ASPCA.
So you’ve heard us crooning week after week about the incredible work of our $100K Challenge contestants—those shelters that are coming up with innovative ways to motivate their communities and save more animals’ lives. At stake? Oh, just a cool $100K for the shelter that saves the most animals.
So far, our Challengers are kicking some serious butt, but we know they aren’t doing it alone. Without the public adopting cats and dogs in record numbers, the Challenge wouldn’t be such a smashing success. Which is why we want to hear from you—the public!
Have you adopted or fostered an animal from one of our contestant shelters during the months of the Challenge? Did you volunteer for one of our Challengers? Or perhaps you were reunited with your pet at a Challenge shelter? If so, we want to hear your story! Submit a photo and brief overview of your experience, and you could help your local shelter win a $1,000 grant.
An ASPCA jury will select 20 finalists based on the quality of the photo submissions and how well the stories demonstrate the Challenge’s mission to save lives. The public will vote for six grand prize winners, and the participating shelters of those six winners will each win a $1,000 prize! The six winning entrants will receive a snazzy ASPCA water bottle, and the 20 finalists will take home a prized ASPCA t-shirt. Anyone who has adopted, fostered, volunteered, or reclaimed an animal at a Challenge shelter during the months of August, September, or October 2010 is eligible to enter. So submit today! The deadline for entries is November 14 at midnight EST, and winners will be announced on ASPCA.org by December 7.
Not sure if your local shelter is participating in the $100K Challenge? Check out our full list of contestants! Then share the contest with your friends and neighbors by posting the link on Facebook or Twitter.
On September 29, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Manhattan resident Anthony Polanco for striking and injuring his four-year-old Yorkie, Jack.
The investigation began on August 9, when Polanco brought his dog to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment—Jack was unable to walk. When questioned by veterinarians, the 27-year-old admitted to striking the dog while grooming him. Upon further examination, veterinarians determined that Jack had sustained severe blunt force trauma to his spinal cord.
“Inflicting such severe injury on a helpless dog signals the potential for violence directed at other vulnerable victims,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the Humane Law Enforcement. “We too often see that animal abusers are repeat offenders.”
Jack is currently recovering at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where he will remain until he is able to be placed up for adoption. Due to the extent of his injuries, Jack may never regain complete function of his right limbs.
“Jack sustained serious injuries—his body may never fully recover,” says Wolf. “But this victim of abuse deserves a second chance at a better life and the comforts of a new forever home."
Polanco, 27, was charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty and faces up to two years in jail if convicted.