June 8th, 2010
Submitted by EARS volunteer Shari Neal of Marion, Iowa
Among the 49 animals rescued from neglect in Wayne County, West Virginia on May 27 were two ponies locked in a shed. Here is the story of their journey from crisis to care.
All the while, the humans trying to contain them were closing in. In the end, the ponies would gladly trade their freedom for the sweet taste of fresh green grass, and that is what they did. Dillon spotted a field of the good stuff. He looked to Murray for permission and together they plowed through the fence standing between them and grass heaven. There they stood munching as quickly as they could, until the humans finally strolled up and lassoed them. It was worth it.
After arriving at the emergency shelter, the hay came every day. There was always clean water to drink, salt to lick and humans offering to scratch their ears. Murray didn’t trust the humans and convinced Dillon they needed to eat as much hay as they could because they would never get any more. After a few days of stomachaches and Murray’s theory being proven false, they decided to leave some hay for later and trust the humans to bring them some more. Dillon focused on training the humans to rub his nose and liked to taste their hands, while Murray gave his attention to perfecting methods for stealing hay from the horses in the neighboring stall. After all…you never know when you might need more hay! Years of neglect had taught him this hard lesson and it would not be soon forgotten.
Dillon is not thrilled about being surrounded by horses as he doesn’t get to be the “big one” anymore, but he likes his festive red halter. Murray (wearing classic black, as he is not the flashy type) is hoping to find another pony descended from zebras to compare markings with. The two friends are unsure of their future but certain that they are better off in their new home than in the one they left. They have decided to keep a positive attitude and look out for each other as they always have.
Photos: Murray and Dillon in their new digs at the temporary shelter; Murray and Dillon enjoying their endless supply of hay; best buddies, Murray and Dillon scratch each other; Murray steals hay from a neighboring stall; Dillon samples the fingers of a UAN volunteer. Photos courtesy Shari Neal.