Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Cumming Man Arrested For Cruel Hog Tying"

You won't read this in the news because it doesn't seem newsworthy to many people. Pigs, hogs, who really cares anyway? 
Actually, contrary to some people's belief, animals do matter to many Americans. 

Here at SaveTheHorses.org rescue farm, animal lovers come together to help horses and other animals in need. A few weeks ago, my neighbor, Al, stopped by to ask if we saw the pig tied near the road about a mile away. We all piled in the truck, grabbed a crate and drove down to see what was going on. I thought someone may have found a pet pot belly pig and tied him for safe keeping so the owner could find him. That seemed like a reasonable thought. 

When we got there on this very hot and sunny afternoon, we found something horrible. Here was a 250 pound female hog, tied very tightly with hay strings by both back legs, to a telephone pole. No shade, no water, no food and no way to get away from dogs or coyotes. She would have been eaten alive. She was gasping air because she was dehydrated and over heated. She was already suffering. The hay strings were so tight on her back legs, the were swollen into her skin. This wasn't a Good Samaritan trying to help a lost pig, this was animal abuse. 

I called 911, this was serious. A few minutes later a Deputy from Forsyth County Animal Control came to help. We called on a neighbor to bring some water. She drank and drank some more. Then we poured water into the small whole she was digging for herself to try to escape the burning down rays of the sun. She wallowed in the cool water and mud mix as we got the crate ready to get her out of her predicament.  The Deputy was appalled by the blatant abuse as we were. He took a snare out of his truck and was able to hold the pig so we could get her legs cut from the pole but we couldn't relieve the pain from the strings. They were tied too tight. Once in the crate, we all helped carry it to his truck. The Deputy took her to the vet to have the strings cut off safely. He was going to find out who had purposely created such an act of cruelty. 

The pig has been in custody of animal control and the abuser was arrested yesterday. This was not his first abuse arrest. That is such good news for all of us here at SaveTheHorses farm. We do care about all animals. Did it make headlines? Not to my knowledge but it made us happy to know the authorities did see this abuse as important. Thank you to Deputy McKinzie for his detective work and persistence in making an arrest.

Now the question is how do we change the animal world? Why do some people not see it as abuse?  Each of us has to become a humane educator. Imagine a world more compassionate, not only to animals but to other humans as well. People who care are kinder, others learn and follow your example. You are teaching the world everyday, keep your compassion going. You are the difference. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pig On A Pole!

Seeing my neighbor come down the drive seemed odd. I wondered what he wanted beside just saying 'Hello'. Some of the volunteers and I were sitting under a shade tree taking a break from stall cleaning, when Al walked up and asked if I sat the pig on the road. He said he saw it in the morning and had just went by again and it is still there, tied to a telephone pole by the back legs. We all jumped up and had to go see what was going on. We loaded a large dog crate into the back of the truck and headed down the road. I thought is may be a pet pig that was lost and tied so the owner could find it. As we drove about a mile, we were all looking to the left as Al said it was there but we couldn't see it. He told us to pull in the driveway and we still couldn't see it. 

We got out and walked up a hill and there was this young female hog, tied to a telephone pole by her back legs, tied so tightly it cut off the circulation in her back legs. She was panting hard with no shade to protect her and no water to drink. Julie ran to a neighbors to get water. I was shocked at such deliberate abuse so I called 911 for help. This was criminal. Felony animal abuse! 

Why would anyone do this? Was someone trying to teach the pig a lesson?  Someone cruel and heartless did this and left this pig to suffer and die from heat exhaustion or to let coyotes kill it as it had no way to run. She was terrified of us, imagine is dogs or coyotes where attacking her! The pig drank the water as fast as we could get it to her. She also laid in it and created a great puddle to cool off in, which she desperately needed. She panted hard with her mouth open gasping. Pigs don't sweat, they wallow in mud to be cool.  The twine was so tight, there was no way we could get it off. It was hard to look at knowing it cut deeply into her circulation of her back legs.

Officer McKinzie came prepared. He had a snare and put it around Ms Piggy's neck so we could cut her legs free from the twine and ropes. Once she was in we had to secure the crate with extra ropes so we could carry her into the Sheriff's vehicle. He was taking her right to Dr. Orr's veterinary hospital to sedate her and cut the strings off. She is now at Animal Control. Investigations are underway  trying to find out who owned her and prosecute on animal cruelty charges if he can get enough evidence as to who did this. 

She is going to be a 600 pound hog. I hope she can come here and I can find a farm animal sanctuary for her to live out her life sloppin' in mud! We just don't have room to offer her sanctuary with all the rescued horses on the farm but I surely can find her safety, she deserves it. 

We never know what we will be doing on any certain day. Come join us if you have some free time, we guarantee you won't be bored. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Box of Memories

As I walked toward the back door to the house, I saw a package the mail man dropped off. It was just a plain cardboard box. The label read, from the University of Georgia. 
I picked it up and put it aside. Seeing the label brought back memories about Sapphire. We just lost her after a 2 week stay at the University hospital. She was so chronically ill and even the necropsy couldn't give us enough answers as to how or why or how long this was going on. She was such a trooper. She never complained, never was mean or angry. She was a sweet horse and everyone at the rescue has wonderful memories of her. She came to us in deplorable condition. Malnutrition and hit buy a car. Was her problem started then? It sure didn't seem like it because she gained weight well. She was hurting bad on one of her legs. She would get locked in place in the pasture. It would take 4 or 5 of us to get her moving but then she be good after the first few steps. At my age, I am like that too! Dr Kimberly Parker, DVM, who does equine Osteopath worked on Sapphire and few times then she walked without pain. We took her in April of 2009. We never rode her because of what she went through. With horses, there can be pain you can't see. We are here to help the horses, riding is so secondary, we just want horses safe and happy. 

The next morning I looked at the box, grabbed a knife and opened it. I took a deep breath when I looked inside. Tears just started streaming down my face. In the plain cardboard box were Sapphire's memories. Her halter, her lead rope, a very kind card signed by all my wonderful friends, doctors and students at UGA and they cut and braided a piece of her hair. It was a bad experience at UGA because we, with all our love and care, couldn't save Sapphire but it was a wonderful experience at UGA at the same time because we all became 'one' trying to save her and care for her and sharing our thoughts and concerns for her. My special thanks to Dr Erin McConahie, who lead me though daily talks, helped me make decisions and kept me very informed about Sapphire progress and regress. It was a roller coaster ride that I hope to never got on again. Also thanks to Dr Leah Patipa Beccar Varela for having the Sapphire's bast interest at heart since she first met her in February and for being patient with my many questions and her friendship.