For two years, Ahote, a black and white paint horse, and Paix, an elderly mare, suffered starvation, untreated injuries and obscene neglect at the hands of their owner.
When officers from the Humane Society of Greater Akron found them inside an area barn, their water buckets were bone dry — as though they hadn’t held liquid in a long time.
In July, Humane Society officers called Happy Trails Farm Animal Rescue to assist in the rescue of the horses that had been cooped up in the barn for two years.
Ahote was caked with dried manure from laying in his own filth. You could count his ribs he was so painfully thin, said Happy Trails director Annette Fisher. His care was so lacking, his overgrown hooves had begun to curl up.
After three months of careful care and medical attention, the 6-year-old Ahote has put on weight and recovered enough to be ready to be adopted.
His elderly stablemate was not so fortunate. Paix had to be euthanized due to the severe neglect she had suffered.
You can help animals like Ahote and thousands of others in the area that suffer neglect and abuse by donating just a few dollars to a fund to build a covered equine arena for their rehabilitation.
Happy Trails needs to raise $54,000 by December to build a 65-foot by 115-foot pole barn-like arena to keep the animals safe and dry so they can recover and be adopted into loving homes.
The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust has offered $12,000 for the project if the rescue can come up with the funds to put up the arena by the end of the month. The Ravenna United Fund has donated an additional $2,000 for the project.
It doesn’t seem like much to give an animal a chance to stretch its legs and breathe in fresh air, even in inclement weather that makes footing perilous.
Happy Trails, which has rescued more than 4,000 farm animals since 2000, has no safe place to assess the extent of animals’ injuries or consistently exercise them to aid in their recovery in Ohio’s changing weather.
Visit Happy Trails at http://happytrailsfarm.org/category/get-involved/ to learn more about the sanctuary and its campaign, or call 330-296-5914.
After almost a decade of hearing from consumers that pet food made in China is killing pets and making them ill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking consumers and their veterinarians to notify the agency if they suspect their pet’s treats are tainted.
This column has been warning pet owners for two years to steer clear of Chinese-made jerky treats that are still available on grocery store shelves.
But pet owners should also be aware that manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin for ingredients used in their products, so packages that do not state on the label that they are made in another country may still contain ingredients sourced from China or other countries that export to the U.S., the FDA said.
Although the agency says it has received 3,600 complaints from dog owners and 10 from cat owners since 2007, it says that the exact cause that has killed almost 600 of them remains “elusive.”
And those are only the reported cases.
My advice: Stop buying jerky treats from grocery stores and put your trust in pet food companies that source their products in the United States. Additionally, look for companies that make their products under one roof and have a pet nutritionist on staff.
Like you, your pet’s health will only be as good as the food you provide it.
Other animals in the news:
Teddy Bear Care Day — The Akron Zoo is offering half-off admission from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today to anyone accompanied by a teddy bear. The Berenstain Bears and zoo vet staff will be giving wellness visits during the event. Zoo staff will also educate people on how the doctors at the zoo keep the grizzly bears healthy. The event is sponsored by SummaCare and Summa Health System. For more information, contact the zoo at www.akronzoo.org or call 330-375-2550.
Thanksgiving Day Free Admission — Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is offering free admission to the zoo and RainForest for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. Visitors can watch animals enjoy special holiday treats with enrichment demonstrations throughout the day. Complimentary free, heated transportation will be available. For more information or for a list of Thanksgiving Day activities, visit the zoo online at www.clemetzoo.com.
Pet portraits — From noon to 5 p.m. today at Lola, Cheech and Mooey’s Natural Pet Store, 133 S Vine St., Orrville. All pets are welcome and their families, too. Santa will be available and a variety of backgrounds are available. $25 per sitting. Proceeds benefit GivePetsAChance. For more information, call 330-201-1757 or 330-682-6820.
Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to email@example.com.