Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Made the News!

Check out the article with pictures here:

DERRY — The sweet, sable-colored mare probably can't believe her good fortune. Aptly named Faith by the woman who rescued her, the horse is now in a clean stable with an endless supply of hay and fresh water. Her emaciated body is covered by a warm blanket. Her wounds are being tended to and she has even made a new equine buddy.

In a different kind of Valentine's Day story, Faith's new owner, Julie Hersey has in her own words "fallen in love with a horse who hasn't been loved in a very long time."

Hersey, the owner of Greenwood Stables on Frost Road in Derry, learned of Faith's plight through a post on an equine Web site that described a "mare in dire straights . . . she needs a rescue and an upgrade in ownership."

The message was posted on Jan. 24 and there were subsequent posts from interested would-be rescuers. When Hersey realized that these rescue attempts weren't coming through, she decided to rescue the mare herself.

On Feb. 2, Hersey and her husband Dan drove to the farm on Foster Road in Loudon where they persuaded the owner to sell Faith to them for a dollar.

"She was standing on a sheet of ice, surrounded by a barbed wire fence," Hersey said. "She had no food or water and there was a nylon halter cutting into her nose."

The mare was severely malnourished and had oozing wounds on her legs. On their way back to Derry, Hersey called Dr. Robyn Eldredge from Deerfield Veterinarian Clinic who met them back at Greenwood Stables. After she examined Faith, who is around 17-years-old, Hersey asked if the mare would need to be euthanized.

"She looked at me and said, 'No not yet. She still has fire in her eyes and wants to live,'" Hersey said.

Faith, who stands at 16.3 hands, or 5 foot, 7 inches, weighs 800 pounds. "She should be at 1100 or 1150 pounds," Hersey said.

Faith had a touch-and-go first week with Hersey up at all hours of the night keeping a close eye on her. Faith suffered from colic from being introduced to grain in her diet which she needs to build back her strength. She was unsteady on her feet and her hind legs were swollen from being malnourished.

"We thought we were going to lose her the third night," Hersey said.

Over the first week, Hersey enlisted the help of three veterinarians — Eldredge and Dr. Simon George from Deerfield Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Brad Barnes from Atkinson Equine Clinic. Hersey has to give medications both by mouth and injection for Faith's abcesses and for pain. So far her veterinary bills are up to $1000 and continue to grow with Faith needing a dental exam and radiographs of one leg and then corrective shoeing by the farrier.

Last Friday, Hersey's attorney Trish Morris, who practices animal law, visited the stables and was horrified at Faith's condition when Hersey removed the blanket from Faith's back.

On Monday, Hersey filed animal cruelty charges against the horse owner with the Loudon police. When the police went to visit the farm, the owner gave conflicting statements as to how long he had the mare.

Morris said on Tuesday that she hopes the police will follow through with animal cruelty charges.
Hersey has enlisted support from the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the animal control officer from Pittsfield that covers Loudon as well as the state veterinarian's office.

"Something has to be done," Morris said. "We are seeing a problem statewide with people not being able to afford to care for their horses."

Morris said with hay at a ten year high at $6.25 a bale not including delivery charges, the increased cost of grain, the increased cost of shavings combined with a shortage of shavings due to low new construction, the cost of keeping horses has become hard, if not impossible, for many owners.

"There are very few horse shelters in New Hampshire," Morris said. "The NHSPCA had ten horses at the beginning of the week. A horse rescue in Chichester has 51 horses. Donations are down to most non profits, while surrenders are up."

If there is a true case of neglect, the NHSPCA will try to educate the owners as to proper care of the animal.

"Sometimes, it is truly an issue of education," Morris said.

In a negligent animal cruelty case, the first offense is a misdemeanor with up to one year imprisonment and/or up to a $2,000 fine. The second offense of negligent cruelty is a Class B felony and requires a minimum of zero to three and a half years of imprisonment with a maximum of seven years, and/or up to a $4,000.00 fine. Intentional animal cruelty, first offense, is a Class B felony.

Hersey said Faith is doing better this week, but her recovery will be a long one, with ups and downs along the way. Many people from the horse community have offered help and sent money for Faith's food and medical care. A woman from Maine sent a brand new blanket for her.

"I am overjoyed that we found her in time," Hersey said. "She is a sweet animal that never did anything to warrant the cruelty she was shown. I believe she knows she's safe now. She knows she's home."

To find out more about Faith and to read Hersey's blog, "Saving Faith," visit

Want to help?
Donations for Faith's care can be made to:

Dodge Grain
59 North Broadway
Salem, N.H.


Deerfield Veterinarian Clinic
150 South Road
Deerfield, N.H.

When making a donation, please note that it is for "Faith at Greenwood Stables."


1 comment:

  1. Congrats for making the news! I found you through the Fugly blog. I'm so happy Faith is safe with you and is finally getting good care.