• White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue

Saying Goodbye


Rescuing horses can be exhilarating. There is nothing like the first time you see a recovering horse kick up its heels, just because it is feeling better. Other days are tougher. And there is perhaps nothing harder than having to say goodbye to a horse that you have grown to love.


Raven was on her way to an auction because her owners thought she was “crazy.” But the person who was asked to deliver her thought she would be better off at the Rescue, and her owners consented to sending her to White Bird, instead. The photo below was taken shortly after she arrived. It was immediately obvious to us that she had Cushing’s disease, which was causing her weird fat deposits and laminitis. The picture above was taken a few months later, after daily treatment with pergolide and a controlled diet.


Raven wasn’t crazy. She was a sensitive, high strung, show horse. She had simply ended up in the wrong home. But her next home was the right one.

Joe P. and Rita S. offered to foster Raven, as a companion to their other fostered rescue horse. And for the rest of her life, Raven lived like a Princess, as a much loved member of a family that absolutely understood her. Over the years, as her health declined, they provided expert veterinary care and attended to her every need. But this past week, Raven colicked and upon the recommendation of the attending vet, her caretakers made the difficult decision to euthanize her. Raven’s necropsy revealed a fatty tumor that had created an obstruction in her intestinal tract. This was a fatal condition that would have caused great suffering had Joe and Rita not acted as they had.


We could not possibly have found a better final home for Raven. While we know that not every horse will be able to be placed in an adoptive home, these wonderful people ensured that Raven lived the remainder of her life in safety and dignity, among people who loved and understood her. Our hearts go out to Joe and Rita and we offer not only our condolences, but our deepest gratitude.

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