The Heat is on at IDA’s Hope Animal Sanctuary

August 21st, 2012 by Doll Stanley


Summer in the South is known for its hot days and humid nights. Well, someone sure turned up the heat on us this season. Discoveries of abandoned animals and calls about neglected and abused animals have been overwhelming. Though the summer has been very challenging, we have had our satisfying moments of success at IDA’s Hope Animal Sanctuary. 

On August 10th, we shared in a day of celebration at MSU when the university’s second mobile spay/neuter clinic was delivered. Dr. Phil Bushby, inspired by a student’s request to help prevent shelter killing, pioneered the concept of a mobile spay/neuter clinic for routine visits to shelters without veterinarians. Professor, humanitarian and surgeon, Dr. Phil had just returned from receiving an AVMA award for his humane work.

HAS benefits greatly from this much-needed service. The clinic’s tri-weekly visit literally makes it possible to rescue, rehabilitate, and place the hundreds of animals who benefit from our partnership. This second clinic was funded by donations raised by students and from PetSmart Charities. We are thrilled to see their program expanding and excited that they will be able to help even more animals here in Mississippi.

Although we have struggled, we have somehow made room for the innocent companion animals abandoned in our rural area. Our next transport to Colorado is in September, so an entire season of rescues has greatly challenged our resources and team. 

For instance, yesterday we received a call for help from Tallahatchie County. Two horses were at large and were believed to have been abandoned. The dear woman who called us for assistance had begun feeding them, and her loving nature had gained their trust. “Betty Boop” and “Sherman” both bore signs of injury from having been bound or entangled, most likely in wire. Betty Boop was very thin.

With a temporary custody order from Justice Court Judge Steve Ross, and Deputy Patrick Tribble’s affirmation of their condition, we still had another issue to resolve. Sherman, a stallion, would need temporary housing until we could give him haven. We placed a few calls to our rescue partners. and our friend Jeri Little agreed to hold Sherman for a few weeks until we could get him gelded and moved to our Sanctuary. Thanks, Jeri!

Doc Abernethy was out yesterday evening to work on Betty’s teeth. The poor girl had been holding a wad of grass in her cheek to keep the sharp edges of her teeth from harming her inner jaw. Do you doubt that horses are smart?

A few nights ago we received a call from Deputy David Mims, asking for help for a mare who was discovered horribly hobbled by overgrown hoofs. The caring people who had reported her plight agreed to bring her here. Thank goodness for them–if they had not discovered her condition and acted, she would soon have gone down and died a horrible death from dehydration. Her hooves were so overgrown, she wobbled as she tried to maneuver the short distance from the trailer to the barn. I named her Amber, after one of her hero rescuers.

Raymond, our farrier, and his wife and partner, Barbara, rushed out to Amber’s aid. 

Raymond dramatically reduced the length of Amber’s hoofs and bandaged her swollen legs . Amber will get “bute”, which is like horse aspirin, for pain. We’ll also massage her legs to increase the flow of blood to her feet, and she’ll receive penicillin for the abscess that is threatening to separate her left hoof from her foot. With nurturing and diligent attention to Amber’s needs, she may recover beyond our expectations. We have learned that animals have a tremendous capacity to bounce back if given a fighting chance, and we’ll be there for her, no matter how long it takes.

As you see, we can’t let the heat or anything else stop us. Thank you for your continued support of Hope Animal Sanctuary, because without you and many other caring people, none of this would be possible. It’s a great feeling knowing you are out there, thinking of us and the animals we serve on your behalf. We all appreciate it. —Doll