Thanks to Shawn Jayroe and her incredible group of volunteer Horse Angels at RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview, Florida, hundreds of equines have been saved from abuse and neglect. Not every animal can be restored to good health, but any horse willing to fight for a fresh chance at life is fully supported by a dedicated team.
Following are five of the most amazing recoveries.
1 – GINGER
Ginger is a recent rescue who arrived at RVR in May 2016 with her friend, Sugar. Ginger was literally skin draped over bone. Her condition was rated worse than “extreme starvation” on the Henneke scale that categorizes the horses’ physique. Our dentist corrected problems with Ginger’s teeth, then a body clip and mane and forelock shave helped resolve her lice infestation. Next was good food on a strict regimen, and lots of love.
Three short months later, Ginger is a stunning beauty. Her healthy glow and full belly are just the way it should be.
2 – ROMEO
Romeo was rescued in August 2013. His body score was pathetically low, like Ginger’s was, but his condition was so dire that his recovery seemed beyond hope. In addition to dental infections and many serious injuries, his anus drooped open and was oozing pus.
With the care of his horse angels at RVR and against all odds, Romeo recovered and flourished in the following months, becoming known as The Miracle Boy. His astounding transformation was featured on the front cover of RVR’s novel, A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue.
3 – GRACIE
Gracie came to RVR in March 2013. The poor mare was brutalized for two years by a stallion in her pasture. He also ran her off the food, leading to her malnourishment. The injuries she sustained from the abuse went untreated and by the time she arrived at RVR, gaping wounds filled with broken bones covered her withers. The unchecked infected injuries dripped vile pus and the horrific holes were packed with her mane hair.
Teams of caregivers at RVR Horse Rescue nursed Gracie’s injuries and they tweezed as many bone fragments from her wounds as possible. Still, it wasn’t enough and Gracie would lose her fight without more extensive help.
Local veterinary angels from Brandon Equine Medical Center stepped in and performed several surgeries that finally resolved the root of the infection.
Gracie’s amazing recovery was only possible due to an incredible team effort and Gracie’s remarkable determination.
4 – MONA LISA
Mona Lisa arrived at RVR in November 2014. Her story is especially touching because her original rescuer was a fifteen-year-old Good Samaritan who risked his own life to save hers.
When the boy met Mona Lisa, her owner had his gun ready to end the mare’s life. Her legs were severely injured, supposedly from entanglement in barbed wire, and the man said her recovery was beyond hope.
The boy pleaded with the man to let him help the mare and with assistance from his family, the young man took the wounded girl from her abusers. He treated her gaping injuries with biozene gel and wonderdust, but her care proved to be too much for him to handle. He finally called RVR in desperation.
When Mona Lisa arrived at RVR, teams of volunteers took over her care, scraping her proud flesh wound and tending to the others. Their hard work paid off and Mona Lisa made a full recovery, followed by a visit from her teenage rescuer.
5 – LUCA
Gypsy and her two-week old colt, Luca, were rescued in September 2015. The pair was living in an open field, without proper shelter or shade, during an especially rainy period. Between the relentless Florida sun and the particularly soggy weather, the baby developed a severe case of rain rot and sunburn.
A concerned neighbor called a local vet, who contacted RVR after speaking with the horses’ owner. Thankfully, the owner relinquished the horses willingly.
Pathetic Luca stole the hearts of anyone who saw him. The horse angels at RVR worked in shifts around the clock to tube-feed him every two hours until his momma recovered enough to feed him herself. With excellent care, Luca’s skin condition healed and he grew into a spunky little character in a few short weeks. Make sure to read to the end to see his video. It will melt your heart!
The need for horse rescue is real, as these heartbreaking and heartwarming stories show. Follow the example of the Good Samaritans and speak out if you see a horse in need.
Join RVR Horse Rescue on Facebook to follow the current horses in recovery or visit rvrhorserescue.org to see the many ways you can help. Our inspiring novel, A Healing Haven – Saving Horses and Humans at RVR Horse Rescue includes stories of Romeo, Gracie, Mona Lisa, and many more.