Leslie, who lives in Wisconsin, has owned horses for a long time and is fortunate enough to have a wonderful stable near her home where she can house them. Therefore, when she heard a rescue center in Florida saved 54 horses, abandoned by their wealthy breeder, she decided it was time to give back to the animals she loves so much, by taking in one of the rescues. Haleena arrived in Wisconsin with a body score of 1.5 out of 10, along with her nursing colt who is partially blind.
Upon examination, Leslie discovered a large lump under Haleena’s jaw which she suspected to be an abscess. Leslie began giving Haleena the nutrition she needed and was surprised when Haleena developed a raging infection with discharge from her nostril. When antibiotics didn't work, she took Haleena for a routine dental exam and the nightmare began. According to Leslie, “Her teeth were so sharp she had ulcerations all over the back of her tongue and the abscess was not treatable by simple extraction, so an equine dental specialist was brought in to evaluate her. The x-rays showed such extensive damage....the lump was an abscess that was not treated for so long bone had become compromised. The teeth on her left jaw were also abscessed, but the worst part was there was a hole in her gum where food was working its way up into her sinus, which had become a putrid, infected mess, causing the discharge from her nose.” It was recommended Haleena receive two surgeries to correct her sinus and teeth. The surgeries would be expensive and ISF was happy to help pay part of the cost through a Medical Emergency Animal Grant.
Despite the pain Haleena was in from years of neglect, Leslie says, “She has been an excellent mother to her colt, and at one time we were sure she was just staying alive to keep him going.”
After the surgeries, Haleena suffered a setback when her other sinus became infected. The vet prescribed several strong antibiotics, which helped Halenna heal, along with flushing out her sinus every night with two gallons of betadine solution. After months of flushing, Haleena is now happy and healthy. Her colt is also healthy and weaned.
Haleena remains at the stable where Leslie houses her horses, in the care of a knowledgeable handler named Tammie. Of Haleena’s future, Leslie says, “We are not sure what her future holds, and she fought so hard to survive we will never allow her to be placed in a questionable situation”. Further stating, “(we are) not sure she will ever make a riding horse.....her favorite activity is bucking---in her stall, down the aisle, in the arena, outside----she never hurts anyone and can buck perfectly in place. But she is safe here until a suitable job can be found.”
ISF is so thankful to both Leslie and Tammie for taking in Haleena and her colt, providing them with the care they so desperately needed. In writing to ISF, Leslie describes the bigger picture and asking us, “Please encourage people to stop breeding horses indiscriminately. Not everyone has the knowledge and resources to do what we did, and as people have criticized us for spending the money on Haleena when we could have "saved" 3 others, all we can say is we didn't expect this, and could only address the situation as we found it. Haleena was an inspiration, and we want to thank Faith Equine Rescue in Mulberry, FL for coordinating the placement of the 54 horses and allowing us to be part of the journey with Haleena. Without ISF, Haleena would not be here. We hope ISF can continue to support projects like Haleena.”