In the animal rescue world, few things are heartwarming than a successful adoption story. One such story is that of an ᴀʙᴜsᴇᴅ old horse rescued and given a second chance at life. This story highlights the incredible resilience of animals and the transformative power of compassion.
Arthur, a Belgian draft, spent most of his life as a workhorse in a farming community in New England. But once he turned 30, they no longer needed him.
From there, he went from auction to auction and dealer to dealer. During his journey, he met another horse named Max, with whom he grew very close. They were headed to a ʜɪɢʜ-ᴋɪʟʟ auction in New Holland when Cindy Daigre, founder of Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary in Tennessee, rescued them.
Daigre saw the two horses on a website where the horses were being brokered out. She saw how emaciated and poorly shaped these horses were and knew she had to do something to save them. “I was told that Arthur was purposely sᴛᴀʀᴠᴇᴅ while waiting to go to the next auction, and the man that had him often sold thin old horses to the ‘cat man’ with exotic cats for meat,” Daigre told The Dodo. “I was ʜᴏʀʀɪꜰɪᴇᴅ.” So thankfully, with the help from others, Daigre could hire a transporter and get both of the horses to her sanctuary.
Even though the horses were now safe, Daigre knew they would have a long journey to recovery. Arthur was so skinny and weak that he couldn’t stand up alone. He was exhausted and would lie on the ground without an appetite for food or fun.
Eventually, Arthur settled into the sanctuary and began to eat. He began to grow stronger every single day. But recovery would be more challenging for his best friend, Max.
“Max has a back injury with neurological and feet issues,” Daigre said. He also has scars all over his body from past ᴀʙᴜsᴇ. “He was physically ᴀʙᴜsᴇᴅ and was so full of ꜰᴇᴀʀ upon arrival and had no use for people. He was ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs to work with.”
Although working with these horses was a challenge, it wasn’t one that Daigre ever gave up on. Within a year of the rescue, she had started to see drastic improvements with Max. Both horses are highly healthy, solid, and sweet two years after return.
Arthur also has a long, beautiful mane that they braid in the summer to keep him calm. Arthur and Max are still best friends and love spending time together. “They have a friendship formed through ᴛʀᴀɢᴇᴅʏ and then compassion,” Daigre said.
The story of Arthur’s rescue and adoption is a testament to the power of love and compassion. Despite the ʜᴏʀʀᴏʀs he had endured, Arthur could recover and find a new home with someone who cared for him deeply. His story serves as a reminder that every animal deserves a chance to live a happy and fulfilling life, free from mistreatment and neglect.
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