Spring Hill Horse Rescue (SHHR) in Vermont was contacted to investigate horses who were reportedly thin and not being well cared for. Upon investigation, what they found were eight horses with a variety of untreated issues, including overgrown infected hoofs and rain rot. When SHHR’s attempt to work with the owner proved unsuccessful, it was decided the horses would need to be confiscated and formal charges filed.
Teddy, a ten year old male curly horse, was one of the eight horses surrendered to SHHR. In addition to being thin, Teddy suffered from rain rot, a painful skin infection, and had cracks and chips in his hooves. He received nutritional support and veterinary care at SHHR before being placed in foster care. On a follow up veterinary visit, it was noted Teddy needed surgery on both his eye lids for squamous cell carcinoma.
Already stretched thin, SHHR decided to apply for support in the form of an ISF Medical Emergency Grant. Deborah of SHHR wrote ISF, “(Teddy) is a very sweet horse and
eager to please. He has been willing to trust so quickly, even though he really has no reason to trust humans; given the deprivation he suffered. If we can get him through this medical crisis, we know we can find a stable home for Teddy, for life. We want this happy ending for Teddy because he deserves contentment, peace, and a family.” ISF gave a grant to help with Teddy’s surgery.
Teddy underwent surgery to have his tumor and some precancerous cells removed from his eyelid. After surgery, cream was applied to an area of one eye lid where a small growth remained. Thankfully, Teddy was able to heal quickly and all evidence of the tumor disappeared. When tested, it was determined the tissue was pre-cancerous and not actively malignant. To SHHR and ISF’s great relief, this meant the tumor was removed early enough, before it turned into cancer.
Once Teddy recovered from surgery, SHHR enrolled him in a program called "HERO" (Horse Education and Retraining Opportunity), which is funded through an ASPCA grant. In the HERO program, Teddy received a month of outside training to get him ready for adoption. When completed, Teddy received three adoption applications. SHHR chose the person they thought would provide the best home for Teddy to come and meet him. The meeting went amazingly well and shortly after, Teddy went to live in his new forever home.
Written by Veronica Hampton