Stories

Deborah + Puff

by | Feb 2018 | Story

Breed Mini Horse

Age 18 Months

Sex Colt

Color Chocolate

Height 8.2hh

In September of 2015, a young mini horse named Cocoa arrived for auction at a barn in New Jersey, and it quickly became clear that nobody wanted her. According to Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue, “Most folks do not realize that over 100,000 US horses per year are shipped to slaughter and a large portion of the meat is used for human consumption overseas.” Unless someone took action, Cocoa would be sent to another auction – or even worse, she’d end up being shipped to slaughter. It was for this reason that Beech Brook stepped in and paid to get Cocoa out of the auction barn and to safety.

From the moment Cocoa stepped off the horse trailer at Beech Brook, it was clear that she was very ill. Shortly after Beech Brook removed the auction number from her hip and formally named her “Cocoa” (due to her dark chocolate color), her labored breathing worsened and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. After several weeks of medication, it became clear that Cocoa’s health was only getting worse. The human residents at Beech Brook worried that they might have to euthanize her. During this trying time, the vet performed an ultrasound and discovered Cocoa was about six months pregnant. Concern mounted that Cocoa’s medication might harm the fetus, but there were no alternatives. Luckily, after about two more months of receiving a variety of antibiotics, Cocoa turned the corner and started to improve. The pneumonia had scarred her lungs, and her already difficult breathing only became more challenging as she continued to gain weight during the pregnancy, but her health was improving.

Finally, on March 29th at 8:50 p.m., Cocoa’s baby entered the world at about 25 pounds, after a quick delivery. The baby, fondly named “Puff” by the folks at Beech Brook, was dark in color like his mother and was standing in no time, although it took a bit longer for him to figure out eating. Beech Brook breathed a sigh of relief that he was born alive and appeared to be fairly healthy. Beech Brook reflects that “He truly was a miracle baby. The efforts to save his mom resulted in saving two horses, and without the intervention of [our] rescue, Cocoa may have ended up at other auction barns or died due to her severe pneumonia.”

Puff was adopted at six months of age and is now 18 months old.

What #RightHorse means to me

As the founder of a horse rescue, I believe there is a perfect home out there for every horse we rescue. An unrideable horse may find a good home as a companion horse or therapy horse for work that does not involve riding. An untrained horse that gets training under saddle may become a wonderful riding partner for trails or the show ring. A mini horse or donkey may become a therapy equine. We have placed horses in all situations and with a high percent of placements it supports our approach that every horse has the potential to find a good home.

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