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Friday, June 3, 2016

The "The Saga Of A Horse Named Lily" Story

It was an ordinary day.  And, my story begins this past March when a horse named Lily was found abandoned at the New Holland Sales Stable which is about twenty minutes from my home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  She was injured, underfed, going blind and had been shot with nearly 130 paintballs.  She was taken to the New Bolton Center, an equine hospital in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for medical care.  The New Bolton Center is a leading veterinary hospital run by the University of Pennsylvania.  Eventually a $1,000 reward was offered for the person responsible for Lily's abuse.  That amount grew and grew until it reached $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the abuser and person who left her for dead at the sales stables.  
Lily after surgery for her eye.
At the hospital they found that she was blind in her right eye and had diminished vision in the left eye.  She had been shot by a paintball gun and was in extraordinary pain.  Surgeons at the hospital removed her right eye and treated the left eye.  She was given pain medication which will continue as she heals.  Dr. Nikki Scherrer, the ophthalmologist at the hospital, said that removing the eye doesn't change anything for the horse except that she will be more comfortable.  In the meantime, the search went on for the culprit who had abandoned her, sick and in pain, in New Holland.  Guy by the name of Philip Price was finally located in East Providence, Rhode Island.  He was responsible for dropping the horse off at the sales stable and leaving her for dead.  Seems Mr. Price picked the horse up from Doreen Weston of Smoke Hollow Farm in New Jersey.  The mare had been used for years for riding lessons and how outlived her usefullness so Weston called Mr. Price, a horse dealer, who came and picked up the horse and took it to New Holland.  Mr. Price was charged with three counts of animal cruelty, one count of dealing and handling animals without a license and one count of importing animals without an interstate health certificate.  Eventually the SPCA was called and they contacted the New Bolton Center.  While in the care of the SPCA, the horse was named Lily.  Mr. Price was convicted on all charges and ordered to pay $3,056 in fines and $10,178 in restitutuion for Lily's recovery-care costs.  Then, last week, Tracey and Jon Stewart, the latter being the host of "The Daily Show and the former being a vet tech, agreed to allow Lily to become part of their Farm Sanctuary in New Jersey.  They will have Lily, who is an Arabian Appalossa, as one of their 33 rescued animals at the farm.  
Anita is seen on the left with her handler while Lily is on
the right with Tracey Stewart.  Happy girls, all four of them.
During Lily's recovery, she has become friends with Anita, another one-eyed horse, who will also follow Lily to the Stewart's farm.  At present, both horses are being cared for at a rehab facility in Airville, York County, PA. until their move to the Farm Sanctuary.  Both horses will now be able to spend the rest of their lives never having to be abused, neglected or unwanted.  But, I don't think most of us realize that horses eventually outlive their usefulness.  What do you do with an old horse?  In the United States we don't raise horses for human consumption as they do in many other countries.  Many old horses do make their way to a slaughterhouse, but along the way may end up being abused or neglected.  My guess is that is what was happening to Lily.  Another option for horse owners is euthanasia which I suppose is a more humane way to handle the situation, but it's not cheap, so horse owners have to make a tough decision after their horses are no longer wanted.  What would you do?  Since I live in Lancaster County, PA, known as the Garden Spot of America, I see horses in the fields just about every day.  Many are on farms owned and operated by Amish families.  I'm sure a horse used to pull a buggy becomes an expendable item from time to time.  Makes you wonder what happens to them?  I love animals and was appaled by what happened to Lily, but I suspect it is more common than one might expect.  And, laws aren't going to stop it.  Perhaps those who abuse animals will someday reap what they sow!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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