A Long Process
A Long Process
December 21, 2005
It took all day for Union County Animal Control officers and sheriff's deputies to remove starving animals from a farm near Dongola, Illinois.
20 horses, 40 cats and dogs, birds and a squirrel were removed from the property. A young teenage child living at the residence mandated a DCFS investigation. The State's Attorney said the offenders would be prosecuted for animal cruelty and animal torture (felony charges).
March 18, 2006
HAHS is contacted for help by an equine investigator, Union County Animal Control and other advocates for the seized horses. Several efforts were made by HAHS to satisfy the lien on the horses for 90 days of care they received after the impoundment. County officials decline, vacillate and announce that an auction will be scheduled to defray incurred costs.
March 21, 2006
Union County Animal Control Supervisor tenders her resignation to the Board of Commissioners after learning of their plans to auction the horses. Since the seizure, her life has been these horses, and she doesn't want their future to be anything short of secure.
March 25, 2006
Advocates, organized by P.A.W.S., raise enough money to buy 17 of the 19 horses at auction in Anna, Illinois. The other two horses are sold to people recognized by these groups as being able to provide a loving, permanent home.
March 28, 2006
Drexler Transportation hauls the relinquished herd to HAHS' Woodstock, Illinois farm for further rehabilitation. Three stallions are housed in one barn, while the 14 mares (at least 9 pregnant) are turned out into a large pasture with an indoor arena for shelter. All immediately lower their heads to search for new spring grass, then decide to settle for three full hay feeders.
That's how it went up until March 28 when the herd arrived at our farm here in Woodstock. Then the fun began ...
All of the horses were de-wormed, inoculated and trimmed. As always is the case, some were better than others! Then the REAL fun began...
Starting on April 20 (a Thursday), the stork kept HAHS staff busy with foals. The first was the aged bay mare with no haircoat due to rain rot, lice and mange. She, miraculously, delivered a healthy beautiful bay filly who, since the mare was named "Charity," Patti decided looked like a "Joy."
Next on Saturday was Hillary from our Marseilles impoundment of last June. She had been pasture bred and two days after Baby #1 she delivered a cute, sturdy bay colt the volunteers have nicknamed "Sweet William."
#3 was the young red roan gaited mare who produced a bay filly out in the pasture late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The roan mare was so skinny we didn't think she was that close to foaling. Later that day, "Hope," a tiny palomino mare as wide as she was tall, gave birth to a healthy palomino (cremello) filly with a blaze and two white rear stockings.
If you're counting, that's four in four days! Then HAHS gets a respite - two weeks off with time to catch our breath. On May 11, a stormy Thursday morning, #13 dropped a handsome red appaloosa colt @ 7 a.m. At 7:02, the roany appaloosa mare produced a red filly with a blaze and four socks. Whew! That's not all!
On May 25, the black and white paint mare gave birth to a beautiful (well, okay, they're all beautiful) buckskin filly. She is the friendliest thing you can imagine and she can't wait to join the big girl pasture with her friends who are two and four weeks older! She gets them all to the fence to plan future foal capers!
We are so lucky to have had healthy foals and all of the mares are great moms and doing their jobs well. Actually, we think two of the moms are a little to permissive, but, hey, what the heck. You're only a foal once!
So, you see, HAHS not only took in the 17 Union County horses, but they increased our numbers by six, minus 3 adoptions from that herd! Are you keeping up?! If you haven't already done so, please support our raffle mailer that is written around these extra mouths HAHS must now feed. We are delighted to have all of the horses, and the babies are keeping us all on our toes, but while we are finding them good homes, we need your support!
In all, 14 mares produced 10 foals and only several are still looking for forever homes.