Twinkle Toes was on death’s door when he arrived at Humanity for Horses Sanctuary (HHS) in Southern California. The five year old Pinto Pony had suffered from severe chronic neglect which included lack of proper hoof care and trimming. This resulted in life-threatening malnutrition and dehydration from lack of mobility and therefore the ability to get to food and water. His hooves grew out to resemble "elf shoes", curling up and extending 8" beyond normal length and were abscessed, causing extreme pain and difficulty walking. The Good Samaritans who rescued Twinkle Toes from his abusive owner found him attempting to walk on his joints rather than put pressure on his hooves. Sadly, the people who rescued Twinkle Toes did not know how to care for a seriously ill horse. He was being kept in a field with a stream, but was unable to reach the water. When HHS finally acquired Twinkle Toes from his well-meaning rescuers, he was close to death from dehydration.
There was an attempt to bring criminal charges against his original owners, but they fled the country shortly after Twinkle Toes’ original rescuers obtained him. When the Good Samaritans realized they were not able to help Twinkle Toes, they reached out to HHS for help. HHS is a "forever home" sanctuary for horses and Twinkle Toes will be able to live out the rest of his days as a happy, healthy member of their family.
Once at the sanctuary, Twinkle Toes needed his hooves to be trimmed to the degree where he could walk. He also required daily pain medication and extensive care for his feet several times per week along with monthly visits from a veterinarian who examined and trimmed his feet. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) helped pay for part of Twinkle Toes care with a Medical Emergency Grant. Aleck, a volunteer with HHS, wrote to ISF, “The staff members who rescued Twinkle Toes observed a very strong desire in him to survive and to be saved. He had a "light in his eyes", a special demeanor that clearly conveyed his wish to be helped, and to heal at our sanctuary. He now has a pasture-mate, Sun, a miniature horse who has become his best friend, and through kind, gentle handling Twinkle Toes is slowly learning to trust humans again.”
Twinkle Toes has made significant progress since first being rescued in April 2014. The soles of his feet continue to improve and the abscesses are healing. Due to the extent of his neglect, Twinkle Toes’ tendons are stretched and he may never regain a normal state. Twinkle Toes will live out the remainder of his life at the Humanity for Horses Sanctuary where he is loved and cared for and all his special needs are met.
Of his life today, HHS wrote ISF, “Twinkle Toes has learned to trust humans again; he fought hard to improve and has a strong will to live. When he arrived at Humanity for Horses, he was malnourished and in terrible shape. He is a lovable creature and has found peace and safety at the sanctuary.”
Written by Veronica Hampton