Featured Horses of Last Stop Horse RescueStories of Love, Life, and Hope
Learn how Lucky received the gift of life from the love of so many supporters who donated time and money to get her a life-saving surgery!
Introducing Jack, a 30 year old Quarter Horse who arrived at Last Stop Horse Rescue on January 6, 2017 with severe lameness. The face of a soul that had given up on life. A proud boy who tried to step to me despite the pain. One touch and I knew that he was coming home to the rescue. This old boy was at the end of life but something in his eyes told me he wanted to live. After extensive evaluation by our vet, it was discovered that Jack had a severe abscess with infection to his back hoof. I believe that this old boy deserved a life without pain, even if it was for only a short time. Aggressive treatment was started to heal his back hoof. Antibiotics to help with the infection and many farrier visits along with vet care. Age is only a number for this boy. Jack recently cantered across the pasture with the spirit of a 6 year old. Jack will live out his life with me at the rescue. This will be his “last stop”.
On Valentine’s Day, 2/14/16, my daughter and I went to meet a horse that was for sale. A safe and bombproof horse for my grandson to ride on the trails. A horse that wasn’t a rescue. We traveled to meet this horse and standing in front of us was one of the sickest horses I have touched. His name was #193. He had a large abscess under his jaw, infested with parasites, hair missing from lice, a cough with runny eyes and mucus coming out of his nose when he lowered his head. He had difficulty breathing and swallowing. We bought this horse to save him. Charlie Valentine spent 12 weeks in isolation with several weeks of antibiotics for pneumonia and an abscess. Charlie continues to experience respiratory difficulty when he exerts himself. Today Charlie has sanctuary at the rescue. He will be protected each day of his life now. At one time this boy was only a number. Today, he is loved by all who visit the rescue.
This beautiful 10 year old palomino lived at the farm where the rescue is now located. A sweet gentle boy who I fell in love with him the moment I touched him. A few months after the rescue arrived at the farm, Beau became extremely lame after a ride on the trails. He returned lame. Several months went by and I asked the owner of the farm if I could have the rescue’s vet take an x-ray of his leg to rule out a fracture. Those x-rays showed no fracture and our vet consulted with UGA here in Georgia and the top surgeon, Dr. John Peroni. Beau was turned over to Last Stop Horse Rescue so that I could take on his care. Beau traveled to UGA and it was discovered that Beau had a bone cyst that was growing in his stifle. The bone had crumbled and that was the reason he was in severe pain. The phone call from Dr. Peroni was heartbreaking. He explained that I had to make a decision that Beau either should be euthanized or I could consider stifle surgery which would be very costly. There was no guarantee that this would be successful. I gave this some thought and the decision was made. Beau deserved to live and surgery was scheduled June of 2016. The surgery was considered successful but Beau will need to be on daily medication, scheduled steroid injections, and not ridden due to the possibility of stretching the scar tissue. All who visit the rescue love this boy, including a very special volunteer, Linda Sartore. Beau will remain with LSHR where he will receive the care he deserves.
Spirit arrived to the rescue when he was only 6 months old. He had suffered a broken front leg that fused in position, and muscle damage that has caused muscle atrophy to his hind end. Spirit is Lucky’s baby and a promise was made to this momma and son that they would never be separated. Spirit now is a 6 year old gelding that lives a live of freedom here at the rescue with Lucky. Spirit is a playful boy. Even though his gait is different than other horses he continues to run and play without difficulty.
Murdock arrived to LSHR in 2011. A beautiful young Paso Fino. Murdock was part of a large seizure with the State of Maine Animal Welfare. A horse that no one dared to touch without him lunging out to bite. This wasn’t because of dominance or anger, but of total fear. The marks on his body tell a much bigger story to his past life. I wondered many times if I would ever be able to reach this horse and wondered if I would ever feel completely safe around him. Murdock needed time and I was willing to give this boy all the time he needed. Slowly the walls started to come down and a softness to Murdock’s face was showing when I would approach him. The triggers would also surface quickly and I knew when to step back and wait for him to accept me again. I often now talk of the “Miracle of Murdock”. A horse that was so damaged that he felt the need to attack when a human approached is now able to lower his head into the arms of a human.
This is where he needs to be and is where his healing will continue.
Sunshine a 25 year old QH and is one of the sweetest horses.
Sunshine has a diagnosis of navicular and with proper trims from our farrier she is able to walk and run without discomfort. Many who walk the pastures meet Sunshine and fall in love with her. A kind and safe horse. Sunshine cannot be ridden due to her navicular but enjoys the freedom of just being a horse and grazing with her friends at the rescue. When Sunshine arrived a few years ago at the rescue, I promised her owner that she would always remain with me.
She will always be loved.
Belle and Emma
The rescue started in 2006 with the arrival of two horses. A sweet little Appy pony named Emma followed by a big draft named Belle. These two challenged me to be the best I could be with patience and consistency. I made a promise to Emma after knowing she had been in 7 homes in her first 9 years of life. This is your “last stop” girl. Belle was the second horse to arrive at the rescue. A huge angry horse that was going to get the human before the human hurt her. I needed to learn a different way to approach a horse of this size and one that was ready to cow kick when I approached and pin her ears to warn she was ready to bite. Force would never work with a horse like Belle. Today this girl is a gentle giant. Belle will always be with me and she trusts me to keep her safe. Emma is now 19 and Belle is 25. Both remain with me today. A promise made and a promise kept.
The Miniature Horses – The Ambassadors
Gracie, Lily, and Gabby arrived at LSHR six years ago when their owner passed of cancer. I promised this family that these three would never be separated and always part of the rescue. Gracie is 16 and totally blind. Her babies, 5-year-old Lily and 4-year-old Gabby have put many smiles on the faces as they visit nursing homes and attend parades and events. Two perfect little minis and children love them.
Chance is a 4-year-old gelding who traveled across the states to be part of LSHR. Chance was a stallion when he arrived and was gelded the first week he arrived. Another promise was made to another owner. This is where Chance will enjoy his life and be the greeter of all visitors.
Four little minis who found their home at LSHR and are loved by all the volunteers and visitors.
Otis, Kathleen and Josephine
A family of three……
It was fate that we stumbled upon land down a secluded dirt road where no one was living. We were greeted by a white donkey who we followed down toward a creek where we found seven other donkeys, a miniature stallion and 5 cows. There are no words to describe our feelings toward that white donkey who we named Otis as he took us to meet the others. It appeared he was trying to tell us something. He needed our help and he never left our sides. It was also evident that some had not survived the winter. In time, we learned that this land was being leased by a man who owned these animals and become ill and had not been back to the land in some time. With the help of animal welfare and with the owner asking for our help, each were removed and found homes. This took over a month and during this time LSHR provided hay and grain to ensure that all had food to eat. It was a beautiful Easter Sunday that our two “Christian Donkeys” arrived at the rescue. We had promised Otis that we would not leave him behind and would also bring his pregnant pasture friend with him. Otis was immediately gelded while we prepared for Kathleen to give birth. Our family of “two” soon became a family of “three”. I wonder what would have happened to our sweet Otis if we had not found him. I cannot imagine Kathleen being alone while she gave birth. And soon we would also learn that Josephine would not have survived her birth without our assistance in the delivery and under the care of our vet who immediately gave her the colostrum that she needed that Kathleen was not producing. I must admit that I didn’t know a lot about donkeys, but since meeting Otis, I have learned that donkeys are stoic and proud. They have a strong instinct to protect and are loyal to their humans. This family of three will remain with me always.
Welcome Otis, Kathleen and Josephine.