A neglected horse is rescued by a group of determined volunteers
In April 2016 a group of people were out for a walk near the Irish village of Clondalkin. As they passed a large field they noticed some horses galloping around and stopped to admire the beauty of the majestic animals. But as they watched, a horrible detail caught their attention.
They noticed that one of the horses was wearing a halter and it appeared to be partly embedded in the poor animal's head. They immediately called My Lovely Horse Rescue, an organization that specializes in saving abandoned and abused horses.
Volunteers from the organization arrived at the field but their first attempts to approach the horse failed. It was obviously too traumatized to trust them and kept running away as soon as they got close. Seeing no other option, the volunteers decided to try a less subtle approach.
They called Gerry Creighton at Dublin Zoo and he agreed to help. When Gerry saw how skittish the horse was, he decided to take drastic measures and grabbed his tranquilizer gun.
But this new strategy also proved to be quite tricky. Gerry tried to tranquilize the horse three times, but each time it managed to run away.
The volunteers decided to try a different approach and began visiting the horse every day, bringing it carrots and other goodies to eat. Day by day the horse got less nervous until they were actually able to come close to it. At this point, Gerry Creighton returned with his tranquilizer gun and was able to get close enough for a shot. Four darts and four hours later, the horse was finally sedated enough for the team to lead it out of the field and bring it to a vet.
Back at My Lovely Horse Rescue headquarters, the group named the horse "Gerry" and the vet began the painful process of removing the halter from the animal's head. The headgear was far too small for the Gerry's head and had cut deep into his skin. The vet came to a horrible conclusion: the halter had been placed on the horse shortly after birth and its head had simply grown over it!
As Gerry grew, the halter had dug into his flesh and caused him terrible suffering. The wounds were terribly infected and full of pus and maggots. They were also extremely deep and it was clear that they would take a very long time to heal.
The vet was sure that the physical wounds would heal, but there was also psychological damage as well. At first, Gerry stood listlessly in his stall facing the wall. He was obviously totally traumatized. But only two days later an amazing transformation began to take place.
Gerry completely opened up to his newfound friends, allowing them to pet him and even eating out of their hands. It was incredible progress for a horse that had only recently lived in severe pain and completely isolated from humans.
Weeks went by, then months, and Gerry’s condition improved considerably. The marks left by the halter are still visible, but they healed well, allowing him to finally live his horse’s life without any pain. He even found an adoptive family, but he would have to wait a little longer before going home with them.
You can watch the story of this inspiring animal rescue in this video:
Fortunately for Gerry, some very observant people noticed his suffering and took action. If they hadn't, his story would have had a much darker ending. But now he is doing fine and will have many more pain-free years to enjoy. It's good to know that there are volunteers like the dedicated people at My Lovely Horse Rescue who are willing to offer their time and energy to make the world a safer place for animals. Keep up the good work!