Hi, lots of news this month. Some of it positive and some simply frustrating. The positive is that we are finding homes for some of the 55 wild horses. We still need lots more homes, but we are definitely on the way.
We have been hit with lots of unexpected expenses this month, one being a repair job on our one and only rescue truck which is used for everything we do. Although the injectors were replaced 3 years ago, nearly all of them have failed to the tune of $2400. (This truck initially had a recall on them and apparently they have not improved them much.) It is frustrating when a company does not stand by their own product.
We took two trips to NV to save Cowboy. Cowboy is the preemie who was born in a group of Virginia Range horses that had been rounded up by Nevada Dept. of Ag and saved from slaughter. We are currently trying to find permanent homes for the remaining 55 horses (plus babies).
Cowboy had some life threatening issues, including a septic knee joint. Unfortunately it was an emergency type situation and that vet bill was just shy of $900. He then contracted some type of infection (similar to pneumonia) and has been on further antibiotics. He had scours and was struggling pretty badly. (When you are dealing with a preemie, it is especially dangerous as their lungs are not fully developed and they have no reserves. He was looking like quite the little riblet, with no extra meat on his bones). To date he has come through the tough times very well but is still dealing with a nasty cough. He is eating and drinking and all systems are go, with the exception of his cough and breathing.
Once he gets rid of his cough, the next step is to take him to a vet who specializes in these types of orphans (and who works with us to keep the price as low as possible) to get some casts (removable braces) so we can correct his leg issues. The issues with his one knee is so severe that one of the local vets thought it would be appropriate to euthanize him. However, God put him in front of us and he is happy and feisty and we will fight with him as long as he wants to be here.
So we are trying to raise funds to help with some of these expenses, as well as to keep the horses saved from slaughter safe and fed until we can find their forever homes. We are trying so hard to find permanent homes so we do not have to continue to fundraise for the 55. But until then, they need to be fed and cared for.
As with most of the rescues in the western states, hay is a huge concern. The drought has limited our regular suppliers to only 1 cutting instead of 3. Most of them are fast running out of hay, and the prices are climbing. Funds set aside for hay purchase are fast being eaten up by the emergency repairs and vet bills this month.
We know that there are many horses and rescues that need support. We appreciate any help for any rescue. We all need to work together to make a difference. However, we do want folks to know who they are helping and where their money is going, which is why we continue to update you on the progress we are making. If you would like to help this particular group of horses and our little Cowboy, you can go to our website at
www.chillypepper.org and use the donate button, or you can go to Paypal - Palominodancer@yahoo.com or go to the Youcaring site - https://www.youcaring.com/let-em-run-foundation-for-55-wild-horses-orphaned-foals-415297.
Folks can also donate by check at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang, 34694 Sidebottom Rd., Shingletown, CA 96088
If your heart is especially touched by orphans - we also have another one in our group named Lil Bit. She was near death when she was brought to our sister organization in Dayton, NV. She is also needing help with her leg. She fought through injuries that most horses would not survive and was one that could have easily been euthanized - EXCEPT for the fact that she was so full of life and spunk and wanted to be here with a passion most folks would love to feel. She is nearly well after beating all the odds with the help of Shirley Allen, who has saved more critical foals than we can count and who is there 24/7 with any emergency I need help with - even if it is just to listen to me cry and give me hope at 3 a.m. You can specify funds to be shared by the two orphans if you would like.
I will be updating you on the adoptions that are happening with the 55 (was 65) wild horses saved from slaughter. As always, we want to thank you for your continued love and support as we work together to not only "save" these horses, but find them their forever homes. Please remember, we also have 2 orphans ready for adoption at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. Call 530 474 5197 if you are interested in adopting your new best friend.
If you would like to read the long and detailed adventures of Cowboy's journey, please see the following story :
COWBOY'S STORY CONTINUES......
The first night with Cowboy he and his mama stayed in the outside nursery area. However, the night had turned chilly, (down in the low 40's), and Cowboy was shivering badly. There are a couple of things that make this really bad. He was a preemie, and already compromised. He was tiny and skinny and basically had zero reserves. He needed all the nutrients and energy he was getting from mama just to stay strong enough to survive. Mama Lacy was not in great shape either. So we came up with a plan of action. The first was to make sure Lacy had food 24/7 so she could start producing enough milk for Cowboy. We would supplement her (starting very slowly at first) with some extra nutrition (munchies and extra hay) so she could pass it on to Cowboy. Then came the tricky part. We would have to separate the two of them long enough to put a baby blanket on Cowboy for the night.
Now this may not sound too difficult. However, you have to understand that I have a very large animal with really strong teeth and hooves that easily weighs upwards of 800 pounds. She is COMPLETELY wild, and has never been touched or handled, except for the horrible experience she had when she was rounded up, forced into a chute and branded. For the last 7 months or so she has been living with her band and another one in captivity. The horses were pretty much left alone except for Jan feeding them. Jan is a gentle, experienced horse woman so she did nothing to alarm the horses. Gradually they will start to accept folks moving around them, throwing feed etc. However, this does not include stealing their baby.
I called Shannon and she came over. Moving quietly, we were able to separate them. I was able to get hold of the baby while she had moved mom away with the distraction of feed. (Let me tell you that only worked once - but we were so grateful that evening). I held Cowboy and managed to strap a teeny tiny little foal blanket on him. "She's coming" Shannon said. I looked up while holding onto the panicked, wildly struggling Cowboy. Lacy was watching me and coming closer. My heart was pounding - she could have easily charged, bitten or stomped me. But she stood and watched. Her eyes were questioning - you could tell she was wondering if I was hurting him and if she needed to take me out. But Shannon was able to keep her a couple feet away. Cowboy was much wilder than the first time we had treated him. This was because Mama was standing there telling him with every fibre of her being that I was "death" and he needed to get away. We quickly finished and he ran to mama.
Breathing a sigh of relief and saying a thank you to Jesus for keeping us all safe, I realized this was not going to work. We needed a new plan. The next couple of days we were able to separate them using the gates and moving them through, catching the little one if we got lucky after Mama went through. Then we hit a warm patch and were able to leave them together at night with no blankets, as we closed them into the outside nursery stall which is attached to the house. This stall stays quite a bit warmer and with their body heat it was fine for Cowboy.
Cowboy's knees were really deformed and he had a pretty swollen joint. We took him to Crossroads, where she tapped and drained his joint. He had an infection and now I had to give him antibiotics twice a day. Well by this time we had figured out that it was too stressful to keep separating them and I really didn't see anyway to do it twice a day and stay safe. I was doing it alone most of the time as I was the only one here, and Matt was recovering from his knee replacement. So we came up with a plan, and I think it was God's plan as it just popped into my little brain. I would bring Cowboy in at night, and his mama could have him during the days when it was warm. This was necessary - especially as we started getting chilly nights and hot days. This is a recipe for disaster with these compromised foals as it often leads to pneumonia.
Thus began our routine, and every evening I put Lacy and Cowboy in the outside stall to separate them. There are days when Lacy runs through the gate and I can safely shut it with Cowboy still contained. There are other days when this doesn't work, and I will have to put the soft stringy part of the whip around his neck and use that to hold him while I walk up to him. It is still quite nerve wracking, as I can't pull him with that, so I have to physically walk up and get him. But praise God that Lacy is such a good mama. She seems to understand the routine now, and once I have him she will stomp a couple of times, shake her head as if to make sure I am aware that I am annoying her, and then she will trot through the open gate and up the alleyway to where she eats. She will stand and wait for her food. She does not, PTL, spin or run around or try to get back to Cowboy. He is inside the nursery with me and the goose at night (he likes Goose Marigold's company) and then in the morning they are reunited and he nurses throughout the day. I would never have believe something like this would work, but so far it has.
We got the infection cleared up from Cowboy's knee, but not too long after he started having respiratory issues. He also developed scours, which is extremely dangerous for a baby in his condition. I call him the Lil Riblet, because you could see all his ribs. However, we have managed to eliminate the scours, he is eating and drinking very well, but we are still dealing with a horrible cough and some pneumonia like sypmtoms. In spite of bringing him in at night, his little lungs were susceptible to whatever lil bug got a hold of him. Preemies often have underdeveloped lungs, or at best extremely delicate lungs. They are prone to every little bug they find and are so very vulnerable. We have been using all the supplies we got for Maverick, in addition to the Vibra VM machine that was donated. That machine makes such a difference for these little ones.
The new plan now is to get him all healed up as far as his cough, and when he is healthy enough, he will be visiting Doc in NV for some specialized leg braces. One of the local vets told us his knees were bad enough and there was enough damage in the joint to consider putting him down. However, he is a happy, feisty little baby who we are going to stand by as long as he is feeling well and fighting to survive. Cowboy is amazing and has the heart to live and to thrive, so we will be giving the leg braces a try. (His initial treatment costs just under $900) and these little ones don't come with checkbooks. Unfortunately it means additional expenses, and the truck we use for all of the rescue needs is having injector problems again. After it sat for 4 years due to lack of funds, it was fixed about 3 years ago with all new injectors. However, nearly all of them went bad, so we are looking at a $2400 bill. I have to say that GM is not my favorite company. What happened to the days where folks stood behind their materials and products? There was an initial recall on those parts the first year they came out. However, we have to do whatever it takes to help these babies and horses that God is putting in front of us.
We still have 55 wild horses (and some gorgeous paint babies) looking for their forever home. If you can help, please call me at 530 474 5197. With the price of hay and board, it is a very scary time in the horse world. Those horses (except for Lacy and Cowboy) are still in NV looking for their forever homes. If you want to help, you can go to Youcaring.com and go to HELP ORPHANS & 55 WILD HORSES SAVED FRM SLAUGHTER STAY ALIVE to donate OR to see pictures of some of the horses needing homes. We are seriously looking for homes for them, as this is kind of like putting on a band aid instead of performing surgery. They need a permanent answer. You can also go to Paypal - Palominodancer if you want to help us with Cowboy's care or help support the other orphans and the work we do.
Visit www.chillypepper.org if you want to see what is happening or meet Cowboy in person. Please feel free to visit us at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang, 34694 Sidebottom Rd., Shingletown, CA 96088 We are pretty much open for visitors any time - unless we are out saving a baby or some other critter.