Stray dogs and cats are a common site in Pinal County. However, sometimes larger pets are discovered as well. A stray horse was found wandering the desert north of Coolidge. The horse’s condition was described by shelter owner Maria Jones as “the worst we’ve ever seen.”
A local passerby Amber Wright spotted the extremely malnourished horse at Gila Bend and made a call to Hope Ranch Arizona to report the animal and relay her exact location to the group.
“It was stick and bones,” Wright said, “and it was moving quite slowly. It was ᴛᴇʀʀɪʙʟʏ sad. I couldn’t believe she was standing, let alone walking.”
Misian Stewart-Cory, who runs the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ, sent ranch manager Allison Montano out to Gila Bend on an emergency call. Montano was able to track down the female horse near the mile marker specified by the woman who called in, and snapped some photos at the scene, conveying the horse’s extremely dire state of health.
Cory stepped up to help the stray horse and is in the process of nursing her back to health by feeding her electrolytes and supplements. “This is probably the most ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙʀᴇᴀᴋɪɴɢ ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ that we’ve done,” she said. “I’ve never seen one that bad.”
The ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ group named the horse Blessing. Her tattoo found under her lip, along with a brand on her side, revealed her real name to be “Pleasing Dom”; she was born in 2012.
They transported her back to Buckeye, bathed her, trimmed her hooves, and are having her evaluated by a veterinarian.
Cory said she wasn’t sure if the horse would sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ through the night. The horse was in such rough shape, she said, it appeared like the animal was probably hours or days away from ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
“She has zero body fat,” Cory said. “When you see her in person, it’s literally a walking skeleton. I don’t know how she made it this long honestly.”
But the horse made it through her first night at Cory’s ranch — a miraculous feat that prompted her new caregiver to give her the name of Blessing. Now the ranch will begin the process of slowly easing Blessing into a normal diet by first feeding her about a quarter of what horses typically eat each day.
After just a few days in their care, improvements in Blessing’s health were already noticeable. She’s gaining weight and has had her hooves trimmed.