With the economic situation impacting our nation, most citizens have felt the financial restrains, not to mention the growing frustration with paychecks that don’t seem to stretch as far as they used to.
A local resident, LeAnn Rees, owner and operator or TLR Youth Ranch and Horse Rescue, has seen the impact up close and personal with horrifying realty that she can not turn a blind eye to. In the past six months she has rescued two horses that were in critical condition, or would have been shortly.
One of the rescues was found in January wondering on Walker’s Loop, after being dumped off by her owners. A lady who lived on the road noticed the two year old filly trying to eat grass in her yard and called Reece for assistance. Rees picked up the horse and quickly began nursing her back to health.
The more devastating of the two rescues was picked up just a few weeks ago. The Chief of Police contacted Rees trying to get the numbers to animal welfare organizations. After nothing was being done, the Chief contact Rees again to see if she would take a look at the horse to see if there was any hope for the animal. Rees quickly noticed that the horse was in very bad condition. Rees checked the horses gums for color, which she found, indicating that the horses circulator system was still trying to work.
Upon further investigation of the animal’s welfare Rees reported that it had become emaciated, had sand burns on both sides of it’s body, had rope burns on the front feet, had pressure wounds, and due to a lack of movement on the left side of the horses face, could have possibly suffered from a heat stroke.
Two weeks later the horse is still hanging in there. Now at Rees's Rescue facility, it is getting up and down on it’s own and eating. This is not how the horse was when it was first brought home. At one point after the rescue the horse was no longer able to stand on its own and Rees had to use a tractor and sling to keep the horse standing. Also the horses urine was brown and cloudy upon arrival and it had diarrhea, which is dangerous with the heat as it can quickly lead to further dehydration.
“Over the years most of the rescues that I have been involved with are caused by nothing more than neglecting to properly care for their animals. It doesn’t take much to keep your horses up and going during this economically tough time,” said Rees. “ All it takes is a bag of feed (50 lbs for under $10), a few bales of hay (1 bail can last as long as 2 weeks and costs under $5), a salt mineral lick and making sure they have access to plenty of water and shade.”
Rees said that the cost of maintaining your horse is far less that what it takes to bring them back if they reach a bad condition. “Once you let them go down you are going to spend more to get them back up to par, if you can even get them back to a healthy state.”
Rees gave us a few pointers for readers who might not know much about horses or are new owners. #1- make sure they have plenty of water so that they can stay super hydrated with the heat. #2- make sure the animal(s) have access to a good amount of shade. #3- When the temperatures are up this high with a humidity factor do not ride them. A horses body heat elevates 10 times faster than a humans and they can suffer from heat strokes just as easily as we can. And #4- Make sure they have access to a salt mineral supplement to help them replace important minerals and keep them hydrated.
“There is no need for something like this to happen,” said Rees. If you know of animals who are being neglected, abused, mistreated or that simply are no longer wanted or can’t be taken care of, do the responsible thing and contact local Humane Societies, Animal Control officers, Police officers, local veterinarians or anyone else you can think of that may be able to help. Never let these acts go unreported. No animal deserves to have a painful life or needs to suffer. Admitting you can no longer care for your animals can be tough but it is the adult thing to do. Do not let the animals suffer on the behalf of your ego.
Rees has her hands full as she is doing this operation by herself, and is still trying to become a nonprofit facility and get the youth ranch up and going. Rees is not asking for monitory donations but would appreciate any time you could donate to help her in this noble cause. She currently has roofing materials to put over her stales but this is a slow process as she is doing it alone. Any and all donations are welcome and deeply appreciated, not only from Rees but also her four legged guests. Contact Rees at 580-298-2199.