Donna Miller, reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, shared information about Happy Trails recent horse rescue in her column. Check it out here.
On Friday, Oct. 12th, Happy Trails rescued seven horses from the Mt. Hope (Mid-Ohio Draft Horse) Auction in Holmes County. Here are their stories, as well as an opportunity for you to show your support for the work of Happy Trails with a horse sponsorship.
Meet Sadie, a gentle Morgan mare with a badly damaged eye; meet Fleury, a sweet, old white pony whose baby was torn away from her at the auction; meet Woody, a handsome Belgian gelding with a terribly injured hoof; and meet all the horses who are now safe at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary. Sponsors are needed to help with veterinary costs and medical and rehabilitation expenses. Here are their stories.
Thank you for sharing this story with your friends, family and co-workers. Our rescue work is only possible with your support!
Meet Pollyanna the Turkey
She looked sad and miserable when I first saw her. Pollyanna had been found by a good samaritan driving along the road. She glanced to the side and saw a pile of feathers lying next to the road in a ditch, and thought that it was so sad to see the dead turkey laying there. Just as she drove by, she saw movement. Was she seeing things? Did it really move? Or was it the wind? Or her imagination? Then she did what any compassionate person would do, and she turned her car around to go to see if the animal was indeed alive and if it was, what could she do to could help it. The young (under a year old) white domestic turkey was alive, though not in very good shape. Her rescuer was able to stuff the big girl into her car, and she took the injured turkey home to get her the help she obviously needed. Unable to get in contact with the county humane society, the good-hearted passerby contacted Happy Trails. Could we help?
Kevin Bragg and I went as soon as we could to the rescuer’s home and walked around to the back of the property where they had made the turkey comfortable, providing her with food, water and a shelter. Upon examination, it was painfully clear that she had been attacked by something, most likely a dog or coyote. Whatever her predator was, it had brutally attacked her from the back, with deep puncture wounds on her lower back, behind her legs and under her wings. Her upper right leg was terribly swollen, and she was having a hard time walking. Some of her feathers were shredded and dirty. A closer examination revealed one of the wounds near her rectum already hosted a great deal of maggots that had infested the wound. Before even moving her to the Happy Trails rescue truck, we took the time to clean her up, disinfect her wounds, and remove as many maggots as possible. A trip to Dr. Riggs and the crew at Barberton Veterinary Clinic resulted in a positive prognosis and a hope for a strong, healthy recovery for this sweet, miserable creature.
She needed a positive name that would make her world happy and idyllic, a name like “Pollyanna”.
So Pollyanna spent several days in quarantine at Happy Trails as she began her journey on her road to recovery. She was on anti-biotics and a special fly medication to keep the pesky summer flies away from her sensitive wounds.
This past week Pollyanna was introduced to Homer (now Homera, after it was discovered that “he” layed an egg!). The two turkeys seem to be friends, or at least are tolerating each other amazingly well. Pollyanna is sweet, loving, and enjoys attention from her human caretakers.
It’s sad that no-one in that area had reported a missing turkey. And if they did know she was missing, perhaps her owners didn’t care. We actually run into that quite often on farms with mass quantities of animals. One goes missing, and because of the sheer number of animals, it might not be missed. However, it’s rare that a turkey who is heavy and slow and pretty docile would actually wander as far from her home as this poor bird would have been. There is a chance that she was abandoned or dropped off like so many animals that we come across. Pollyanna is slowly recovering from her ordeal. She is being showered with love and peace and assurance that she is in a safe place.
To help with her recovery expenses, donations can be sent via PayPal through the Happy Trails website at www.happytrailsfarm.org, or can be sent via regular mail to Happy Trails, 5623 New Milford Rd., Ravenna, Ohio 44266. Any donating to help defray the cost of care for Pollyanna, Homer or Marge (Homer and Marge are two other rescued turkeys at Happy Trails), you will receive a full-color autographed photo of the turkey of your choice and an invitation to come out to meet them in person!
It makes you wonder, how many other animals like Pollyanna are left to die in a ditch alone? How many are abandoned along our country roads on a daily basis? While we can’t always prevent bad things from happening to innocent animals, we can certainly do something to help them and to ease their pain when we can. With your support, our work is possible.
Some people might ask why they should care – after all, it’s just a turkey? One train of thought comes directly from Mahatma Ghandi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” A second line of thought to the question, why do we care? It’s rather simple — because it’s the right thing to do.
Helping one animal at a time truly does make a difference. Ask Pollyanna. We’ve made a difference for her!
What does Happy Trails mean to me…..Knowledge, Answers, Help, and Compassion for all two and four legged creatures. I have called on Happy Trails to help with many animals rescues and they have always been right there to help with any livestock animal in need of a caring hand, loving heart, and a safe place to call home, even if it was just for a short time. These people are very knowledgable and caring, with the skills to help you accomplish any animal rescue. I am honored to have them on my call list, but mostly to call them friends in the business of ANIMAL RESCUE. Thank you so much Annette Fisher and Happy Trails for all you do. We could not do it without you on our side.
(Mary Jo Johnson is a Humane Officer for Medina County SPCA and has worked with Happy Trails on a number of animal cruelty cases. The photo shows Mary Jo standing in a cockfighting pit which was discovered in a chicken barn during an investigation.)
I began to volunteer with Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in the spring of 2011. Since becoming involved with this life changing organization, I have had the opportunity to work with many amazing animals and people. It is humbling to work with animals that can unconditionally trust people again after a life of abuse. I am a strong believer we can each learn something from these animals. One experience that will truly stay with me for the rest of my life was an encounter with two calves. When these precious creatures came to Happy Trails they were only days old and in a very poor condition. The male calf was given only a fifty percent chance of survival. I had the honor and pleasure of bottle feeding these calves on a weekly basis as a volunteer. The peace I experienced while feeding the calves during the calm nights at the farm compares to nothing else. I was so proud of them with each new step in their young lives. It was amazing to see them go from taking half an hour to drink a bottle to finishing it off in a matter of mere minutes. They were perfect little helpers during feeding time following everyone around to make sure each animal got their fair share of food. It was so gratifying to see these two perfect creatures return to health and grow tremendously. Towards the end of their stay at Happy Trails, the calves began to let us know they were ready to go to a permanent home by jumping clear over fences and finding trouble wherever they went. As hard as it was to see them go to their forever home, I am so grateful that they now have the opportunity to live the rest of their lives as much loved family pets. There are so many unique and gratifying experiences like this at Happy Trails.
(John Otey is an adoptive home who took on two giant Belgian draft horses. They have become the love of his life! John literally bought a farm just to adopt these two wonderful creatures and to include them in his life. Our hats are off to John for being so dedicated and so caring for his two new family members.)
I will never forget the first time I walked through the front gates of Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary. I was immediately struck with a sense of peace. Chickens were scratching in the dirt and several potbelly pigs were sleeping in the sunshine. I was greeted by a lovely tortoiseshell cat named Gypsy whoI learned was the official Happy Trails greeter. Everywhere animals were living in such peace and happiness. I knew right then that Happy Trails was going to become a part of my life.
Happy Trails is one of my favorite organizations. So much so that I have raised money for them through marathon running. I am so happy there is a place that I can take my daughter and show her how loving and feeling farm animals are, that they are not just something we use. That they are no different than the cats and dogs that live in our home. She loves to go and see the piggies. It is my hope that by taking her places like Happy Trails I can raise a compassionate person who will continue to give and speak out for those who cannot.
(Monica Nowak is a long distance runner who donates the funds she collects to her favorite animal charities! Monica is a big fan of Happy Trails, and she is teaching her daughter kindness and compassion for all animals!)
A large, gentle rooster was discovered in the city of Akron, duct tape wound around his feet and spurs. He was missing most of his feathers, and the scar tissue around his face told a story of being used as a "bait" animal for animal fighting.
Two mares arrived together at Happy Trails on Thursday, January 5th, 2011. Exactly one week to the day before these girls arrived at Happy Trails we welcomed Sonyador, a big, sweet, Percheron-Standardbred-mix mare, who was experiencing the same situation. A fellow rescue worker heard of these three Amish horses in Pennsylvania that were in the possession of a horse broker, a person who takes unwanted horses by the trailer-full to the horse auctions where they are purchased by the meat buyers and sent to slaughter. All three were destined to be shipped to Sugarcreek, where they would be quickly run through the sale and in a matter of hours loaded onto a transport truck heading to a slaughter house in either Mexico or Canada. Sonyador was the first lucky one to have her rescue arranged by the rescue worker, and it was set-up to have the other two mares arrive at Happy Trails the following week. They arrived in the dark of night and like Sonyador, were unloaded onto the road in front of the sanctuary, the transport truck too large to even attempt to enter the front gates of Happy Trails. The two girls cooperated fully as Happy Trails volunteers anxiously lead them to the back of the sanctuary for an examination and to be fitted for blankets. They seemed to trust us well enough and stood fairly politely after their long, stressful ride with the broker.
In the Fall of 2011, Happy Trails assisted a county humane society with the removal of an assortment of farm animals from a situation of severe neglect. Recently the owner plead guilty in court and the animals that were removed were officially signed over to Happy Trails. This included two absolutely adorable baby calves who had arrived at Happy Trails extremely weak and in danger of not even making it through their first night at the sanctuary. They were only ten days old and suffering from starvation. Two attending veterinarians did not give them a good prognosis, but showed us how to provide the very best care possible. Amazingly enough, the babies not only survived, but they thrived on the love and care and attention and good nutrition that was provided for them. Now they are healthy and happy and available for adoption as your adorable family pets! Of course they will want to find a home where they can remain together! Click on the link below to view their flier, and make sure to share it with everyone you know to help find them a caring and loving forever home!