Milagro. It’s the Spanish word for “miracle,” and that’s what he is.
Milagro is one of five horses recently seized from an Ontario farm and taken to Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue in Hagersville, Ontario. These five Quarter Horses, four stallions and a mare most likely in foal, ranging in age from six to ten years old, were all given a body score of zero by the investigating agency.
Emaciated, covered in rain rot and open sores, infested with internal parasites, and with rotting feet and burr-tangled tails, the five were seized and held for a week before being transported to Whispering Hearts, as the veterinarian overseeing them did not think they would initially survive the trip.
Forty-five horses were left behind, many with body condition scores of one or two, and a few as high as nine.
It started on November 13, 2012 with a Facebook post by Brenda Thompson, the driving force behind Whispering Hearts, asking for help to transport five or six horses.
Although the offers of help started to come in, the investigating agency was later able to make their own arrangements for the transportation and the horses arrived on November 15th after a grueling 4 hour trip.
Brenda took one look at them and realized that more help was needed. A call went out for dewormer, blankets, medicine, medical bill payments, beet pulp, and funds for hay.
There are already 39 horses living at Whispering Hearts, all rescued and rehabilitated and most waiting for their new home. With the ever-increasing price of hay (especially since it has to be shipped from further and further away), that’s already a lot of horses to feed. Five more mouths to feed, and five more emergency and ongoing vet bills, is a scary prospect for a privately-run rescue relying solely on private donations.
However, true to form, that is never a consideration for Whispering Hearts and they welcomed these poor souls with open arms. The first night was looking good; the horses were all eating and drinking and seemed to be settling in well.
Friday morning the worst happened. The stallion in the worst condition went down and just could not get up again. He was too far gone. Brenda and her husband, Dave, however, were just not ready to give up, not after having gotten him on his first steps to a new life.
They were determined that this little guy was going to make it. Dave brought out the skidsteer as on arrival to Whisperning Hearts Milagro’s muscles were too wasted to hold him up. With sweat and tears they got the little bay to his feet and supported his frail body with straps and soft blankets.
After some emergency mdical teatment and lots of love tna suport, not twelve hours later this plucky little stallion was able to stand on his own again. It was at that moment that he was dubbed “Miracle” later changed to Milagro.
They spent the last 4 nights waking up every 3 hours going out to the barn with fingers crossed to count, hopefully, five standing horses. So far so good, five miracles standing in the barn, eating and drinking to their hearts content. Another 39 horses, who all made this journey from rescue to recovery, rove the paddocks waiting for their new home. And Whispering Hearts wonders each day how we will be able to afford to keep saving lives.
Milagro’s journey will be long, arduous and expensive. He is only one of many and Whispering Hearts needs your help. For donations of items, a current wishlist can always be found on our Facebook page or on our website.
There are also many horses who have completed their own journey of rescue and are awaiting new homes. By adopting one horse you are making space for another horse in need of rescue.
Financial donations are a wonderful way of helping out as the funds can be used for whatever is the greatest need at that point. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home, as donations can be made online through the Whispering Hearts website.
If you want to see for yourself the wonderful work done by Brenda and Dave and their amazing group of volunteer, Whispering Hearts is having two Christmas Open Houses. One is on Sunday, November 25th and the second on Sunday, December 2nd from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
You can tour the facility, meet some of the horses and get a head-start on your Christmas shopping with Whispering hearts apparel, donations or treats!
This is our chance to show the world that Milagro and his friends are not the norm in the horse community – they are the exceptions and we will do everything we can to make up for what was done to them and what was allowed to happen to them.