Where to start...
The Hungry Herd from the February rescue is doing well. The littlest mare, Maggie, is so thin and is having trouble with abscesses, but she is eating well and is putting on some weight. It just seems such a slow process. You want them to get better, right now!, but rehabilitating them takes time and can't be hurried. I put her in the barn the other day thinking I can soak her foot easier if she's inside and give her extra groceries, plus she'll be warm and dry. I opened the top of the dutch door so she could see out and get some fresh air. I came back a little while later and she'd jumped over the door! I don't know how she managed it, but I decided to put her back outside with the rest of the herd, figuring if she's that upset about being separated the stress won't help her at all. I've been able to halter her and clean the burrs out of her tail and poultice and soak her foot so she's getting some good handling at least. Haven't had a chance to work with the others at all, but they do come running as soon as they hear the chain on the gate rattling!
On March 9th we went to a local horse dealer's lot to check out a herd of Clydesdales that were there. There were 7 geldings, a stallion, a yearling filly, a two year old filly, and 6 mares - four of which were pregnant and one that had just foaled that morning. All were in pretty rough shape, underweight and with terribly neglected hooves. Some of the mares seemed friendly but most of the horses were nervous and seemed unhandled. Not surprising, given their situation. Six of the geldings had already been sold and were going to Iowa to be trained to drive. The remaining horses' prospects weren't too bright. We ended up buying the rest, 10 plus the foal that had just been born.
We happened to have our horse trailer with us as we'd just dropped off some horses at Janine's and made what turned out to be the fortuitous decision to bring the mare and foal home with us that evening. We named the mare Philomena and the foal Fonda.
The next morning it because apparent that the mare was very ill. We suspected retained placenta and Mike rushed her to the vet where an exam confirmed it. Retained placenta in horses is extremely dangerous, becoming toxic very quickly and often being fatal, especially if not caught early enough, and it can also lead to founder and laminitis. She was flushed out numerous times and put on a variety of medications to try to counteract the toxicity. Philly came back to the Rescue that afternoon and over the next 10 days we battled to keep her going. Mike set up a system in the barn so our vet could easily flush out Philomena's uterus, as she needed to be done twice a day for the first several days, then daily for a couple of days, and then less often after that.
Philomena was on several different antibiotics and other drugs, most twice a day, to help her recover and to try to prevent founder. While we seemed to win the battle with the toxicity, as her temperature returned to normal, she exhibited signs of heaves, her heart rate remained high and, worse, she was not eating.
Meanwhile, Fonda the foal, such a sweetheart!, was doing well in spite of all that her mom was going through. We began supplementing the mare's milk to try to take the burden off Philly of having to nurse Fonda continuously. Fortunately Fonda took to drinking from a bucket right away. But in spite of everything, we could not get Philomena to eat anything but a bit of sweet feed. She would only nibble at hay or cubes and as soon as we added anything else to the sweet feed, like supplement or broodmare mix, she wouldn't touch it. The following Thursday, after 10 days, she laid down and we couldn't get her up. We'd IV'd her and tubed her with everything we could throw at her to try and boost her energy and get her going again but it was not to be. Philly was euthanized on the 20th. We were so heartbroken.
With Philomena gone, Fonda became an orphan and we had to figure out what we could do to make her and our lives a little easier, as raising an orphan foal is no small matter. The next day we were advised of a mare for sale a couple of hours away that had aborted twins the day before. We made the immediate decision to purchase the mare and try and get her to take Fonda as her own foal. A huge thank you to Gigi and her family for driving out to pick up the mare and bring her to the Rescue! It was a really long day for you. And thank you to everyone else who offered to help. The new mare, who we named Bitsy, is a beautiful 14 year old registered QH mare (Ima Bit Te). She has a scar on one hock, looks like an old wire cut, and she was very lame. We were told she'd been recently kicked. Thankfully within a day she was fine though. Gigi and family arrived with Bitsy late in the evening. We put Bitsy in the stocks and gave her a bit of sedation, then allowed Fonda to nurse a little. Fonda was happy to do so! Bitsy wasn't too crazy about it but she didn't fuss much. The next morning we did the same thing. By that afternoon after a couple of more feedings without having to sedate Bitsy, foal and mom started to nicker to each other and Bitsy even faced towards Fonda's stall when they were separated. Mike and I had to go out that evening (thank you Judy and Sherral for taking over while we were gone!) but by the time we got home late that night Fonda and Bitsy were definitely bonded and got to spend the night together and have been together since!
The reason I said earlier that it was fortuitous that we'd decided to bring Philly and Fonda home that first day (as we weren't able to go back to pick up the remaining drafts until later) is that, even though we lost Philly after a 10 day battle, I'm sure that had she still been at the horse dealer's the next day, she and Fonda would both be dead. I cannot believe that Philly would have been noticed to be ill and would have died there almost immediately, and in all likelihood Fonda would have been euthanized immediately as I know they would not have taken on the trouble of trying to raise an orphan foal or to find her a replacement mom. So even though Philly is gone, Fonda is healthy and happy, and we also now have Bitsy, who we have taken out of a breeding cycle that is perpetuating so many of the unwanted horses.
Thank you to Four Feet Companions Foundation for the grant towards the care of the 'Hungry Herd'; to Trendsetting Stable Riders and Noble Riders 4-H Club for the donations; and Shay-Ann Rangen for donating for your birthday! Thank you to Calgary Regional Trail Riders for once again generously supporting the Rescue through your donation. Thank you Annalise Blishen for doing massage therapy for Emmy. Thank you Linda Somers for arranging the weekly fruit and vegetable donation from Planet Organic Calgary North. The pigs, goats and poultry love it!
Mary Ellen has set up a facebook page for used tack sales to benefit the Rescue - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bvrusedtack/
If you aren't on facebook, you can contact her directly if you have tack to donate or are looking for something to purchase - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Krystle has arranged a wonderful fundraiser for Bear Valley! Dueling Pianos LIVE! from Las Vegas
- Come join us for an exciting evening filled with LIVE dueling pianos (all the way from Las Vegas!), May 31, 2014 at Cremona Community Hall. $40 per ticket, $5 drinks, silent auction! You will not want to miss this fantastically fun evening! Call Krystle at 403-836-4096 for tickets. If I can find a website for the venue I'll post it on the fundraising page. There is a facebook page set up for the event - https://www.facebook.com/events/628812433879006/
Snuffy and Isis have been adopted together, and Cecil, who was out on foster, has now been adopted by his foster home. Janine, our treasurer, has taken on some of the special care horses - Monkey, Joanie, Munsie, Torque, Snips and Sasha.
We have a lot of new sponsors - Isobel, Shay, Dan, Saffron, Marnie, Eclipse, the goats Isabel and Waffle, have all been sponsored in the last month, in addition to the sponsors of the Hungry Herd! Thank you to all sponsors, past and present. Your continued support helps us to meet the needs of all the animals in our care.
Torque, Snips and Ellie had their teeth floated at the beginning of March. We have about 10 more that need doing this spring - just have to get to it! Also once the weather warms up we have to do some gelding - Sigmund, Elvis, Flame and the Clydesdale stallion need to be done. Mike hauled home another 100 round bales, with another 50 still to pick up. We also purchased over 500 more square bales. Can't wait for winter to finally end!! We now have 96 horses in the main herd and 44 at the house, and lots more fostered out. Adoptions have been slow while intakes have been overwhelming. It has been such a long, cold winter, I think everyone, us included, has been in survival mode. Hopefully things will pick up once winter loosens its grip. It is, after all, almost April!
It has been an incredibly hectic month. I'm part way through updating the horses, adding the new ones that have come in. We took in 10 Clydesdales (and 1 foal) and lost the mare of the foal as she'd retained a piece of her placenta, then found a nurse mare for the foal. I'll post more info in the next couple of days on what's been happening.
I was able to spend about 12 hours yesterday working on the website (one can get a lot done when starting at 4 am lol!), so I've finally got pretty well all the newer horses posted, moved some around (sadly, all too many had to be moved to the rainbow bridge page), and hopefully today I can get the new 'hungry herd' posted as well. For now they'll all go on the foster page. On the plus side I moved Dingo and Simba from 'foster' to 'available for adoption' as both of them have improved immensely and no longer have issues with contracted tendons. Now I just have to create and add the links for the 'montage' pics for those most recent that don't have them yet. Oh and I think some picture links are missing from when the new website was created so I'll go through and find which are missing and add those as well. I did find a few of them yesterday.
It's getting a little easier as I'm becoming more comfortable using the new website developer. Just wish our internet/computer were faster!
I spent a few more hours on it today and got all the missing 'collage' pics linked to the thumbnails, except for the newer horses which I still need to create them for. The newest 'hungry herd' is posted on the 'fosters' page. I noticed that a LOT of the youngsters need new pictures, they've all grown so much and look so much better than they did last year. A good project for anyone who wants to come out and take pictures in the spring/summer!
We had a good turnout for our annual general meeting on the 8th, thank you to everyone who came out and for your contributions and input during the meeting. The potluck lunch was great!
A heads up that we'll have a booth at the Mane Event in Red Deer again this year, April 25-27th. If you would like to volunteer to help man the booth during that weekend please send us an email. There's a Mane Event planning meeting here at the Rescue on March 1st that you can also attend if interested. We'll have an info table at the adopt-a-thon at Bowdog in Calgary on March 15th.
More sad news in that we lost Hannah on February 9th. She hadn't been quite right for a couple of months and though we thought we'd worked through her issues with a teeth floating and other health management she passed unexpectedly overnight. Thank you Stephanie Fulton for sponsoring her and Janine for caring for her, and to Kelly for bringing her under our wing back in 2008. Hannah would have been 31 years old this spring. I'm not great with dates and always find it surprising when I figure out how old some of our residents are. The years go by and we're all getting older. We have so many horses that have gotten up to and over 30 years of age without our even realizing it and sadly with advanced age come more health problems and eventually end of life. We are glad, even during the sad times when we lose one, that we are able to make their lives a little better while they are with us.
We received an urgent email on Feb 15th requesting our help regarding a situation with 20+ starving horses located in southern Alberta. After a flurry of emails and phone calls over the next few days we were able to arrange to drive down to pick up the horses on Tuesday the 18th. We borrowed a bigger stock trailer (thank you to our vet Dr. Erickson for the loaner), Janneane came along to help, and 2 more volunteers, Kim and her son Jamie, pulled our smaller stock trailer with their truck. The horses were in very bad shape and four had already been euthanized. They had been fed now for a week or so, though they were being fed hay that was too rich for their depleted systems. We were able to take 18 of the horses while another smaller rescue took 3 of them. It was a 4 hour drive to pick up the horses and over 4 hours to bring them back, as we were stopping to rest the horses and check on them during the drive. We arrived back at the Rescue at about 8 pm that night.
Right away when we arrived home 4 of the horses were in trouble and went straight into the barn for immediate care. Phoenix, the stallion, and DJ, a sorrel mare, seemed to be in better shape while 2 younger fillies, Nova, a sorrel filly, and Jasper, a bay filly, were in worse shape, though all 4 were eating and drinking and able to sit up during the first night. Because the horses were down (unable to stand), they had to be rolled over regularly and massaged and constantly monitored to ensure they didn't injure themselves or each other if they struggled to rise. We are so thankful for the army of volunteers who rallied together at such short notice to help care for these horses during this stressful and sad situation, giving them love and compassion and such tender care. Dr. Erickson, our vet, arrived by 6 am on Wed. morning to assess and tend to the horses. We had made the decision to euthanize little Jasper as her condition was quite bad by this point, but she passed away before we could do so. Phoenix and DJ were doing well and Dr. Erickson felt they should both pull through, though we believe Phoenix had minimal handling prior to this (was probably not even halter-broke) which added to his stress. Nova was not doing as well but we decided we had to give her a chance and hope for improvement during the day. Sadly and unexpectedly Phoenix took a turn for the worse by that afternoon and there was no improvement in Nova's condition throughout the day so when our vet returned that evening we decided it was best to let both of them go. They were euthanized quietly.
DJ the mare was doing well at this point, however she was still not able to stand and we knew we had to get her standing as she had been down for 24 hours. With everyone's help we were able to lift her with the tractor and straps and she was able to stand for an hour before she became too tired and had to lie down again. We decided to let her rest overnight and when we lifted her in the morning she was able to stand for three whole hours before laying down. Again we allowed her to rest for a bit and lifted her and this time she was able to stay standing! We thought she was definitely out of the woods and after monitoring her for 24 hours a day for the next couple of days we moved her into a stall where she could look out and see her pasture mates. She was doing so well that is was a shock when after 4 days we found her down again and unable to stand. Despite everyone's best efforts over the next 2 days we were unable to get her standing and by Tues afternoon she started to become distressed. We made the sad decision to have her euthanized but she passed at 3:15 pm on Tues. Feb. 18th just as the vet pulled up to the door. Everyone who spent time with DJ during her struggle was amazed at her calm and friendly demeanor. She was such a lovely mare and we are so saddened that she didn't make it.
This tragedy was difficult for all of us to deal with. Over the course of a week we lost 4 horses, but we saved 14 others and have many more here that still needed care and attention during this time. We are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support and compassion from all the people who cared about these horses and stepped in to help wherever they could. Thankfully the remaining 14 horses from this rescue seem to be doing well and already are settling in and improving daily. A special thank you to Celine Myers of The Ark Watch Foundation for the donation towards the care of these horses.
With the new rescues here we had to move some horses around to fit them in. Thank you to Terri, Kaitlin, Katherine, Lindsay, Eve and Vanessa for the help leading the little herd down to the big herd. Thank you Terri and Kaitlin for starting on deworming the big herd.
Thank you to Uschi and the Calgary Gymnastics Club for fundraising over $660 for the Rescue!
Thank you to Jim Muma, our accountant, for donating the year end accounting, and for the donation made in conjunction with my dad, Louis Kelemen!
Thank you to Craig and Todd for unloading a whole lot of feed and loading a whole lot of hay!
Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, and just plain cared, about these horses!
It's been a rough start to February. We lost one of our long time residents, Bennie, when he passed away suddenly on February 2nd. We believe he may have had a heart attack. Then Cisco became ill on February 3rd and after a vet exam it was determined that he had in fact sustained a torn abdominal wall when he was kicked in December and was colicking as a result. He was euthanized the same day, but we are thankful that up until that day he was active and happy. Teresa was euthanized on February 4th as her front fetlock joints had deteriorated to the point that she was having difficulty standing. Thank you Janine for caring for Cisco, Debra for sponsoring him, Mary Ellen and Deanna for caring for Teresa during her short stay with us, and Karen for sponsoring Bennie. Thank you to Bruce from Didsbury Vet and Greg from Just Passing for your compassion.
We had Pat our farrier out for 3 days over the last week and trimmed up 59 horses. Sadly Pat will be returning to Quebec permanently so we'll be looking for a new farrier here pretty quick. Thank you Pat for all your hard work over the years - I'm sure you'll agree that it's been quite the experience working with all the different horses at Bear Valley!
Thank you to our volunteers for the help with all the physical labour over the last while, what with loading and unloading hay and feed and moving it around. We did pick up another 3 tons of feed yesterday and have a small gang lined up to unload it for us on Sunday. We also hope to pick up another 200 square bales on Sunday that will need to be loaded and unloaded.
We took in 2 horses and a donkey from the Alberta SPCA earlier this week. The 2 yearlings are quite thin (and this still after gaining weight over the last couple of weeks while in the care of the SPCA) but the donkey is in good shape, though all three do need to be gelded. We were told there was also a filly but she died before the animals were able to be seized. We took in 20 chickens from the Calgary Humane Society that were found abandoned in a garage. They are silkies in a lovely mix of colours and fairly young.
I'm glad to say that I finally got the year end financials finished and to the accountant. I'd also like to welcome some new sponsors - Eve and Vanessa for Django and Zane, Sophia and Jim for Gunner and Penelope, and Alex for the new sorrel colt whom she's had the honor of naming 'Flame'!
It has been a long, hard winter so far. We complained about getting so much snow but now that we've had some milder weather we can complain about all the ice! It is so treacherous out there we have to walk like penguins just to keep from slipping, and even then it doesn't always help as we've taken a few spills.
We received that sad news that Chance the pony passed away at his foster home. Chance came to us in very bad shape, a result of extreme neglect. He was surrendered to the Rescue by a caring individual. He recovered well though and thank you to his foster family for caring for him for quite a number of years! Hannah came back from foster temporarily as she had gone completely off her feed. We had her teeth checked and it turned out she had a very sharp spur sticking out the side of one tooth, causing her to develop some abscesses and sores on the inside of her cheek. It must have been very painful to chew, which is why she pretty well stopped eating! Our vet said she'd never seen anything like it as it wasn't a fracture but an actual growth. Thankfully she was able to grind it down and Hannah is back to eating well and enjoying her mash. Cisco received a serious kick from Sasha at his foster home that resulted in quite a large swelling in his groin area. After a round of pain medication he seems to be fine, though the swelling hasn't gone down much yet.
Torque and Snips are back from foster, unfortunately not in the best shape. Another instance of someone looking at them from a distance and thinking they're fine, when it's obvious as you run your hand along their sides that they've got no fat on them at all. They are both doing well now and gaining weight.
Gracey has been adopted to a wonderful home, thank you Betty! At the end of December we took in three horses - Ellie, Plume and Tawny. Ellie is an older (20+) mare, very underweight and louse-infested, with an injury to one leg (we were told she'd gone over a fence). We had her stifle joint xrayed but it was inconclusive. It is quite evident however that Ellie has Cushing's Disease as she has the bleached long coat that is indicative of the disease. We have had her tested to confirm but the results will take a couple of weeks to come back. Plume and Tawny are weanlings, both very pretty, though wormy. They were pretty well un-handled but are starting to settle in. Plume had her first butt and chest scratching session with me today. Tawny is a bit more shy still.
In January we took in another older mare. Emmy is a Peruvian Paso, 19 years old. We were contacted by her owner as she was in a perilous personal situation and she feared for the safety of her horse. Thank you to Greg from Just Passing for doing the quick save by driving down to pick her up for us on short notice. Emmy does seem to have suspensory ligament issues in her back end. Our vet feels it may be related to Emmy's poor physical condition (lack of protein) as she is quite underweight and had been nursing a foal. We've started Emmy on weekly acupunture treatments and she seems not to mind it. Joanie is still not healing up properly from her original injury that she had when she came in several years ago. Carmen who fostered her for most of 2013 had a fair bit of success cleaning it up but after coming back to the Rescue Joanie developed more infection in the wound. We have started a regimen of injecting antibiotic directly into her leg to try to clear it up. If this doesn't work, come spring we may look at debriding the leg completely and starting over. This morning, after the first injection yesterday, Joanie's leg seemed very itchy! I hope that means it is working. Thankfully Joanie has remained sound in spite of this injury.
I had Dr. Erickson take a quick look at Torque when she was out for Emmy, Ellie, and Joanie, as Torque has always had one eye that is 'weepy'. Surprisingly (or not!) his eye didn't look that bad when she was here, but we'll keep a watch on it and may do a tear duct flush on him in the spring. Django has developed a small sarcoid on his chest so we've started treating it with Xxterra.
Bailey and Jax were returned to the Rescue due to a relationship breakdown of their adopters. They both look great but do still need a lot of work as they didn't get that much handling as far as I can tell. Preston was supposed to be coming back to the Rescue but his adopter found him a good new home. Sundance, who was adopted out 9 years ago, will be coming back to the Rescue in a couple of months, due to divorce.
I hope to get the new horses posted on the website soon. Tawny, Plume, Jax and Bailey will be up for adoption while Emmy and Ellie will most likely be available for fostering only.
I have posted our latest newsletter, check the 'newsletters' tab for the link.
Our annual general meeting is being held here at the Rescue on February 8th. Check the 'events' tab for more information. Please RSVP if you can attend.
Thank you to Janna So for sponsoring Tulip the pig, and to Jadwiga and Vanessa for sponsoring Django and Zane! Thank you to the Greygates Foundation of the Vancouver Foundation for the $1,000 grant.
Please let us know if you find any missing links or other errors on the website as you navigate through the pages. We're still ironing out the wrinkles of the new site!
We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season!
We are thankful that the weather has settled down a bit, we've had so much snow it seems all Mike has been doing is plowing (which is taking a toll on the old tractor, it now needs a new clutch!). The horses don't seem to mind the snow, even when it's bitter cold, as they've all got lots to eat. We moved the goats into the barn when it was too cold outside for Izzy, and Waffle got to keep her company They didn't seem to really enjoy being inside but better that they were warm.
Sadly, we lost Hitch on Dec 20th. She was down in the morning and in spite of our best efforts we were unable to get her standing. She was euthanized early that afternoon. Our thanks to Dr. Noeline Erickson and her husband Brent for coming out on short notice and helping to try and get her up. NOeline felt that Hitch had some sort of problem with her heart as her pulse was very weak and irregular, though thankfully Hitch did not seem to be in pain or distress. Our condolences to Janine, who was fostering Hitch, for losing her and so soon after losing Brandy in much the same way. I am glad that Janine received some comfort from her conversation with Greg, of 'Just Passing', who came to pick up Hitch's body on Monday: "... as I was talking about with Greg (nice man!) this morning, it's not only likely that the ones here will die here--the whole plan is let them live out their lives and die as peacefully as possible, when they are ready, and not in the slaughter plant. So as you'd said, she was indeed a "good save," and I'm really grateful that you trusted me to give her the care that she needed and deserved. Also, I was so touched by all the supportive comments on the facebook page; thanks for posting the pictures."
Thank you to everyone who has made our first 'Christmas Tree' fundraiser a great success. We will be picking up 5 tonnes of feed on Friday, the 27th, so if you're looking for something to do involving exercise and the outdoors, it all has to be unloaded here at the Rescue on Saturday!
I don't know how I managed to miss posting about this, but we had our casino fundraiser volunteering on November 27th and 28th at Cash Casino in Red Deer. To those of you who aren't familiar with the way casinos work in Alberta, all casinos need to 'share' their profits with not-for-profits, societies and charities in Alberta. The not-for-profit or charity registers for a casino and once the dates are selected the group has to provide a number of volunteers over 2 days to 'work' at the casino. Casino profits are pooled over 3 months (I believe there are several different sectors in the province that are lumped together) and then shared with the groups who worked the casinos during that period. Thank you to Janine for being our casino chairperson, and to Kathleen and her stand-in Brenda who were our casino advisers (people you hire to help you figure out what you're doing!). Thank you to everyone who volunteered to work the casino - Janine, Mike D., Charlotte, Peter, Randi, Kendra, Dot, Tracey, Michelle, Terri, Janneane, Theresa, Jen, Mike M., Alison, Ben, Darla and Katelyn. From the feedback it seems everyone had a great time once again!
We are allowed to have a casino approximately once every 3 years (not sure why, but urban Calgary and Edmonton sectors are allowed to have one every 18 months, plus their pooling is about 3 times as much $$, but our request for an urban centre has been denied). We've already been scheduled for early 2017 for our next casino, though as with this last one I'll put in for an earlier date in case they have a cancellation so hopefully we'll be able to move up the date to some time in 2016, or maybe even late 2015. Information on the next casino will be posted on the website closer to those dates.
Sorry for the delay in updating everyone on what has been happening at the Rescue. As mentioned previously, we lost access to our website in July due to problems with our domain host and were unable to make any changes or post anything new. We are so thankful to finally have that straightened out! We were seriously concerned that we may have had to start over again from scratch with our website, and perhaps even change our domain name. It worked out great in the end that we were able to retain our domain name and save the content from the old site.
First off, a HUGE thank you to Krista for creating our new website! She donated all her efforts to create our new site, which must have been very time-consuming and a bit of a learning curve as well for her. If you're looking for help with website design, we highly recommend her (her email is email@example.com). I'll have to learn how to navigate the new site now myself so I might still be a little lax in updating items but I'll try to keep on top of it.
I tried to keep notes as to what was happening during the lapse but will probably miss a few things, so I apologize ahead of time if I miss thanking anyone or forget to mention something important.
On the boring, paper-shuffling side of things, in August/September we had both a federal Charities Commission audit and a provincial fundraising audit. Both went well, thankfully. Our Charities auditor, Cynthia, was very nice. She grew up on a farm, so she was happy to be able to come out and see the animals!
I also knuckled down and spent a fair bit of time doing grant-writing in late summer and we were successful on several fronts. Thanks go out to the Totem Foundation, Harry & Martha Cohen Foundation, Nickle Family Foundation, and Four Feet Companions Foundation! Also our sincere appreciation to the continued support of the Donner Canadian Foundation. We also received donations from Cenovus Employee Foundation, the United Way and Team Telus Cares. Thank you to the employees who support us through these employee foundations and the United Way. We also participated in 'Giving Tuesday', December 3rd, and would like to thank everyone who made donations at that time. Donations made on Canada Helps through Interac were matched by Interac up to $25 per donation. Right now, approaching Christmas, through donations we're decorating the tree on our home page and have almost filled up the tree already!
It is so heartwarming to have the support of so many people in looking after the horses (and other animals). Thanks to: Wendy Poirier for covering Winnie's expenses (she is getting joint injections in her front foot); Janine Falck for contributing towards Prince's and Hitch's expenses (acupuncture, joint injections & chiro); Kerry Busby for contributing towards Chanel's care expenses (farrier, etc, plus antibiotics for her pneumonia); Elaine Smith for the used tack donation; donations in memory of Harvey Poffenroth; donations in memory of Jim Fry; and Robin Johnston & David Swick for the donation is Ed's memory.
We had a couple of other special donations (sorry, I know they're all special!!). Thanks to: Olivia for the donation for your birthday towards sponsoring first Sheba, then Story; Cristina for the donation in lieu of presents for your 13th birthday; and thank you so much once again Laura Day and John Garner for the feed donation from the Spruce Meadows Masters. I also want to thank Mary Ellen Lickfold for her continuous hard work on our behalf, cleaning up and selling the used tack. It's amazing how it adds up! Thanks once again to everyone who is sponsoring or fostering for us as well, and to the Hoffmans, Morgans and Hewitts for the summer pasture! And thank you to Terri Bodell for donating a lot of square bales! It's been a lifesaver, especially as we still haven't found someone to come through will hauling over the square bales we bought this fall.
We haven't taken in any new equine additions as we still have so many lovely horses waiting for their forever homes. However we did take in 4 piglets (Penny, Boris, Stella and Spot) rescued during the flood, 1 llama (Ramalama) who has already been rehomed, and 11 poultry from the Calgary Humane Society (some really lovely roosters and 2 hens) and 2 more hens, Princess and Charlotte. Shiner, Tacoma and Thor have come back to the rescue, Shiner already being readopted and Tacoma and Thor up for adoption. Soda, Monkey, Joanie, Torque and Snips are back from foster. Valentino will be coming back from foster shortly as well. Cecil, Quill, Twobits, Macie and Kahlua, Story, Timber, and the cows Charlotte, Olive and Norman have gone out on foster. Adopted out since our last update are Zoey, Jackpot, Milo (still here, won't leave til spring), Venus, Samia, Nina, Freya, Emily, Karma, Faith, Burl, Sheba, Tigger, Nanoon, Jax, Bailey, Odyssey, Shiner, Chanel, Cheeks, and Early Hank. So we've certainly had a lot of comings and goings!
We of course had a lot of hauling to do in the fall, bringing back the herd from Water Valley (10 horses), the Crammond herd (19 horses) and the Hoffmans' herd (26 horses). Most of it went without a hitch, except that Annie went missing from the Crammond herd the day we were picking them up! That was scary - I ran around that quarter section at least twice trying to find her or looking for a broken section of fence, not knowing if she was dead or got out somewhere. It was an amazing stroke of luck that someone driving by saw us and stopped and asked if we were missing a horse as their father (uncle?) a few miles down the road had found one! Never did figure out how she got out or what caused her to leave the other horses, but boy, were we ever glad she was okay. Thank you to the people who corralled her and got her off the road. A super thanks to Colette for helping haul the Crammond herd back with her truck and trailer. It saved us a lot of time having the extra trailer! Bringing the horses back from our neighbours', the Hoffmans, I managed to snag the trailer leg on a chain lying across the road and wrecked it good. So glad Mike was able to fix it, though not without causing a fair bit of hassle in the meantime, between having to leave the trailer on the truck as it had no leg, to having to unhook the trailer once when we got stuck, as it is difficult to unhook a trailer with no leg! (We were picking up firewood - that's another big thank you, to Anne and Glen for the firewood!)
We made a trek down to Standoff a few weeks ago to try and find 2 emaciated horses that were reportedly hanging around someone's house. Along with RJ, Clarissa, and Deanna from AARCS/Pound Rescue, who had initially found out about the horses, we spent most of the day trying to locate the horses but couldn't find them anywhere. We did find some a sickly little weanling at the impound lot that we tried to save but sadly he died before we could get back down there to bail him out. And we struck a deer on the way home (I think/hope the deer survived!) which demolished the front of our truck. Fortunately we were able to drive the rest of the way home but it was pretty wrecked and not going anywhere after that. Once again, Mike to the rescue! He was able to repair the truck for probably 1/3 of what it would have cost to send it out to be fixed, but we were without a truck for several weeks. And somehow we ended up with 3 new kittens (Nelson, Stanley & Amelia) on the trip!
We had bloodwork done on Russa this summer and as we suspected, she has Cushings, so she is on daily medication for that and doing well. We had x-rays done of Cosmo, Prince, Twenty and Winnie, with corrective shoeing for Cosmo and Prince, and cortisone shots for Prince, Twenty and Winnie. Winnie is now getting alcohol injections in her joint to fuse it and Prince and Twenty get cortisone and HA injections. Munsie keeps developing abscesses, she has really thin soles, but we've got her up at the house on limited movement and we're seeing some improvement. Chanel had pneumonia (twice) but that cleared up after a regimen of antibiotics and she's gone to her new home. We had an outbreak of strangles brought in by the new arrivals from the auction in July. Fortunately we were able to contain it to the group of youngsters at the house. Very sadly, little Napoleon the pony recovered from the initial strangles but then became ill again a couple of weeks later. We took him in to Moore's but they were unable to stabilize him and we had to make the decision to have him euthanized that evening. They did a postmortem on him and found a large abscess (bastard strangles) in his gut. Poor little guy, he was such a character, so cute and all personality. Poor Milo had strangles for about 6 weeks but he recovered completely so that was a relief. We lost quite a few older horses over the last few months. Shandra passed away in the field at her foster home, cause unknown. Old Red became ill and was not responding to treatment and was euthanized quietly here at the rescue. Cosmo developed neurological problems, perhaps a tumor pressing on his spine, and we had to make the decision to have him euthanized as well. Sarcee's lymphangitis became worse and flared up constantly. inhibiting her movement and she also was euthanized here at the Rescue. Most recently (last week), Brandy went down and had to be euthanized at Janine's. Each of these decisions are so hard to make but come with the territory. We miss every horse that leaves us and we try to make their passing as easy as possible. Zora the yearling had a colic episode a few weeks ago but thankfully recovered quickly and with minimal intervention. Dallas got a wire cut on her hind leg a couple of months ago and it is healing up well.
Lastly, we have a new intern, Janneane, helping out at the Rescue! She's been a big help and has even learned to drive the tractor.
I'll try and get some updated pictures on the website of the youngsters. They grow and change so much that it's hard to keep up and they don't look the same, even taking into account the winter fuzzy coats they now have.
Sorry to all our supporters for the lack of communication over the last few months! Due to issues with our website hosting (the owner of the hosting company was apparently arrested in Scotland on internet pornography charges!) we lost access to our website so I haven't been able to do any updates to the website since July. Thankfully, after a lot of hassle and crash-course learning about internet hosting and domain registration, we've got our website back.