A quarantined horse is confined to a solitary pen at Prince George Equine Rescue but the bills for her care have galloped away.
It is costing PGER thousands of dollars to house and care for Tessa, a mare who contracted a highly painful and contagious disease known as "strangles" - an aggressive throat infection. Despite the injury it causes the horse and the inconvenience it causes the owner, the mortality rate is very low so it behooves a horse welfare centre to do the utmost to save the animal rather than simply put it down. That comes with a lot of cost, said PGER proprietor Nicola Redpath.
"We've been quarantined for a month," said Redpath. "In 10 years of taking in horses, this has never happened to us, and we caught this one just in time and got her segregated before it spread to our other animals. Until we get the all-clear from the vet, nothing comes in and nothing goes out, and Tessa has to be completely by herself."
There are more than 20 horses on the 160-acre Pineview ranch (9095 Bendixon Road), and since Tessa took sick many more horses in need of the centre's help have been identified, so Redpath has arranged temporary foster care with other horse owners until the PGER centre is deemed a strangles-free zone once again.
Two major fundraisers have been arranged: an online auction from Feb. 1 to Feb. 13, and an open house (with pancake breakfast and tack sale) at the PGER farm on March 10.
Some donations have already been given to the auction, and people are also donating horse tack and various farm equipment to sell through their new equestrian thrift store, but much more is hoped for.
"The horse community has been so awesome with what they've already done," said Redpath. "It has been very humbling, to be honest. I have to say a special thanks to Jodyne Green for being such an amazing vet, she has really gone above and beyond to help out the animals here."
There are still significant bills, however, and PGES has arranged an account at Green Mobile Vet Services for people to donate cash into, to add accountability.
In addition to the steady rotation of saved horses, the farm also has a revolving door of goats, pigs, dogs, cats, llamas, alpacas, cows, and others. Some come to the PGER farm and stay forever, but most are moved on to adoptive families.
Even Tessa, once she has served her time in the sick bay, will go to a new home. The new owner has already picked her out of the crowd and is patiently waiting for the lonely patient. In the meantime, Redpath is funding this medical project herself.
For more information on the auction and the rescue farm, visit their website (www.pgequinerescue.com) or find them on Facebook under the Prince George Equine and Animal Rescue heading.