Bella is a Palomino Mustang cross originally captured on BLM land who has had the misfortune to pass through several negligent owners. The most recent brought her to Tucson, AZ pregnant, and in an emaciated state. Neglected and left alone in her corral, Bella only received occasional feed, the manure piled up, and she had little to no socialization. Other horse owners and neighbors attempts to help out were harshly turned away by her owner and Bella continued to decline. As time went on Bella, always reaching out for love, just melted our hearts. After weeks of negotiating Tammy (a fellow horse owner) and I were able to convince her owner to sell Bella to us with the hope of saving both mare and unborn foal.
Neither of us was in a position financially to take this on but we immediately arranged for a vet visit. The vet laid out a feeding plan to up her nutritional intake and determined Bella was in desperate need of dental care. Her teeth were jagged and uneven which wasn’t allowing her to properly break down her hay or gain nutrition from it. With help and guidance from Adobe Veterinary and Wild Hearts Rescue Ranch, Inc. we arranged for Bella’s teeth to be floated and for all of her vaccinations. Then we prayed she would hold off foaling long enough to gain some strength and weight, as well as pass on the vaccinations’ coverage to the foal. We had no idea of how far along her pregnancy was but she was showing several signs of nearing term. The next morning I found a wobbly legged foal by Bella’s side.
The foal was on the small side and having trouble latching on well for nursing. Bella so wisely and patiently kept guiding him along and he was able to get short little sucks. A vet visit confirmed he was somewhat premature. His front legs were a major concern. Born early, his legs didn’t have time to strengthen properly and bow out from the fetlock on down. The vet explained early intervention and placement of glued-on specially made shoes would ease the bones and tendons into the proper alignment as he grows and allow him to lead a normal life. It is imperative they are placed on early before 2 wks to avoid future problems. As he is one week old now we need immediate financial help to have his special shoes placed as soon as possible. We are also seeking assistance to payback Bella’s veterinary bills and assist with the ongoing cost of her nutritional supplements and future foal vaccinations.
Stepping forward to speak for a horse has been a humbling and awesome experience. It has made us aware of how many wonderful, generous people there are and what can be accomplished when we ask for help with open hearts and hope; and just how far love reaches when it needs to.
Bella is looking so much better and putting on a little weight with her now comfortable and well functioning teeth. Her corral and stall has been most graciously donated by the stable owner and is so very much appreciated as are any donations we raise. Thank you so very much. Our goal is to raise $3000, to restore Bella's health and weight and raise a happy, healthy colt by her side with neither on having to go hungry again.
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- shari ives
- Major Richard "Chat" Chatfield USAF, Ret.
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