By Lasca Randels
ALBION — Staff at Shadarobah Horse Rescue were shocked when they recently discovered that a second horse rescued from a neglect situation in Albion is pregnant.
According to Kris Lindower of Shadarobah Horse Rescue, the horse, Penny, is a senior mare and the pregnancy is high-risk.
“To put it in short terms, Penny’s life is at stake due to her age and the neglect she has suffered,” Lindower said in a Facebook post.
Penny was one of six horses seized in April from a property in Albion due to alleged neglect.
Following a probable cause hearing regarding the impoundment/seizure of the horses, an order for seizure was signed for five of the 11 horses at the property.
When authorities arrived to seize those five horses, another horse was found to be pregnant.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, it was noted that the pregnant mare, Goldie, was not in an acceptable condition to foal and that there was no dry, clean location anywhere on the farm for the mare to foal.
The affidavit stated that the health and wellbeing of the mare and foal would be in jeopardy if left on the property.
Based on this information, the order was amended to include the pregnant horse as well, and six horses ended up being removed.
The horses were taken to Shadarobah Horse Rescue, a nonprofit organization based in Fort Wayne. Things were looking up and the horses were settling in nicely, Lindower said — and then came the discovery of Penny’s pregnancy.
Lindower said Penny’s condition was the most severe case they’ve had in which the horse survived.
The mare is in her 20s and was taken to the rescue facility with a body condition score of 1.
An average body score is between 4.0 to 6.0.
Significant malnutrition (body condition score below 3.5) results in an animal utilizing its stored energy reserve and fat to provide enough energy to stay alive. Once an animal has utilized the majority of its body fat, it will begin breaking down its own muscle protein to try to produce enough energy to stay alive.
Animals scoring 2.5 or lower are considered to have severe malnutrition, and those scoring 2.0 or lower have utilized nearly all of their body fat and have begun breaking down their muscle tissue in an effort to stay alive.
“Fortunately, Penny made it — she was one of the lucky ones,” Lindower said. “We thought Penny was now going to find a beautiful life of retirement, grazing to her heart’s content. Instead, she will have to endure more trauma at the hands of those so selfish and neglectful they allowed a senior mare to be bred.”
The rescue group is making preparations for an autumn delivery and taking steps to give Penny the best possible care. She will be monitored closely by veterinarians.
“There are no words for the disgust that we feel, the shattering of our hearts for Penny and the hope we cling to that Penny and her foal both make it through this difficult time with their lives,” Lindower’s Facebook post reads. “To be quite frank, we don’t know if Penny is going to be okay during labor or if she will be able to safely deliver the precious life she carries.”
The rescue is attempting to raise funds for Penny’s care at this time.