Horses on the mend leave bill behind

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NATCHEZ — The gray horse picks her ears up when she hears a voice. Once a human enters her pen, she pokes her nose into any bag, curious.

“She follows you around like a puppy dog,” Natchez Humane Society Director Pat Cox said, as the horse nudged another’s elbow.

One would hardly guess the humane society took the young mare in June after they say her owners neglected her, along with three other horses and four goats.

Email newsletter signup

“They were dehydrated, malnourished and infested with internal and external parasites,” humane society attorney Nan Garrison said. “It’s a miracle she wasn’t euthanized.”

The horse had to be lifted onto the trailer. Once she got to the vet’s office, she had to be placed in a sling because she couldn’t support her own weight.

Medical staff and humane society officials alike were happily surprised when several weeks later she was able to stand on her own.

The veterinarian named her Hope.

The horse’s companions are also on the mend.

After legal battles, the humane society is close to getting custody of the four horses and goats.

But 24-hour care for severely ill horses racks up a hefty bill fast.

Even though the vets gave them every discount they could, the humane society has spent roughly $12,000 bringing the animals back to health.

“A vet bill for us is fixing a dog’s broken leg,” Garrison said. “We are not used to having this type of vet bill.

“It will take us a year or more to pay that bill. It’s just not in our budget.”

So, they’re asking Miss-Lou residents for help — donations to the humane society or payments to Miss-Lou Veterinary Clinic.

Garrison said she was confident Miss-Lou residents would pitch in.

They always have, she said.

When a volunteer drove the horses to the vet for the first time, the driver got jeers and curses from all directions, demanding he take better care of his horses, Garrison said.

“There’s not a doubt in my mind they care,” she said.

“They have always been extremely supportive.”

For more information, or to make a donation, call the humane society at 601-442-4001.