On Jan. 16 a horse, barely clinging to life, was found by park rangers who came to work at the Cosumnes River Preserve. The horse’s condition was so shocking that park officials immediately called a horse transport to come and pick up the horse and take it to Sacramento County Animal Control.
The only way this small, 2-year-old filly could have appeared at the preserve is if someone had dumped her there, according to the rescuers at The Grace Foundation.
On Jan. 17 large animal veterinarian Michael W. Russell, DVM, was called in by Sacramento County to examine the horse. The horse was in such a severely emaciated state that normal feeding regiments and care by Sacramento County Animal Control could not maintain the animal and euthanasia was the only option for that organization. Russell contacted The Grace Foundation, an animal rescue where he also works, and The Grace Foundation agreed to take the horse in and to provide her the round-the-clock care needed for any chance of her surviving.
“The horse is severely malnourished and dehydrated,” said Russell. “This is, to put it mildly, an uphill battle and prognosis at this point is grave. However, given that she is only 2 years old and has such a sweet disposition, we feel that it only seems fair to give her a chance to survive.”
Sadly, this is already the second case this year of a horse being abandoned in the Greater Sacramento Area. Both horses are now in the care and custody of The Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate neglected and abused animals. This falls on the heels of a case involving 56 horses (22 of which are pregnant) from a dilapidated ranch in Susanville, all of which are also in the care and custody of The Grace Foundation.
“Never have I seen a horse still alive in this poor of condition,” said Beth DeCaprio, founder and executive director of The Grace Foundation. “Times are tough for everyone but to leave any animal, especially a young baby, to die by herself is despicable and unconscionable. And there has to be accountability for this horrendous act.”
This is not a wild or feral horse. Recently, someone had roached (clipped) the mane and tail of this horse — evidence that this horse was very recently with people, according to DeCaprio.
These two cases are not isolated or atypical. Last year more than 24 horses were found abandoned in the Greater Sacramento Area all of which came to The Grace Foundation.
The Grace Foundation and Sacramento County Animal Control hope that someone may have seen a person or persons dropping a horse off at the Cosumnes River Preserve on Monday. Call The Grace Foundation (916) 941-0800 to report any sightings or any information.
A fund has been established to cover the cost of care for this horse and others that are found abandoned at thegracefoundationofnorcal.org. Recently a special, pre-opening, fundraiser benefiting The Grace Foundation was held at a new restaurant in Folsom’s Palladio called “Freebirds World Burrito.” In appreciation of the support Grace Foundation volunteers named the horse “A. Freebird.”