Experienced Adopter Required
Very quickly after we saved Jake from slaughter, a teenage girl stepped forward to adopt him. She said Jake looked just like a horse she’d lost when she said her mother failed to keep up with his lease payments. She was obviously in love with Jake, and we wanted him to have his Happily Ever After, so we believed her parents’ assurances she was exceptionally mature and experienced and took a chance.
It wasn’t our first mistake we made as rescuers, and it won’t be the last. But we’ll never make the same mistake twice.
Horses are a huge responsibility. When you adopt a horse, or any animal, you take the life of another living creature into your own hands. The girl who adopted Jake failed to provide the basic hoof care he required, leaving his shoes on for nearly three months, causing him tremendous pain and suffering during the hottest days of summer. On multiple occasions, we found him down in the pasture, in 100+-degree heat indices, in so much pain he was unable to get to water. Even after sending the girl photos of Jake sweating profusely and in obvious pain, she failed to get the immediate help Jake needed. The vet said he would have died if he’d have gone four more hours without attention. Why? Because his adopter allowed him to stay in the same shoes for too long.
Instead of owning her mistake and agreeing to the quality care her contract guaranteed, she refused to abide by the terms of the contract and demanded a bill of sale. With heavy hearts, we rescinded her adoption and vigorously defended the rescue when she attempted to win Jake in a small claims lawsuit. We ultimately prevailed.
We will never again fail Jake. He will only go to an experienced horse person who understands and agrees to meeting his basic needs.