Over the past six weeks, RVR Horse Rescue in Hillsborough County, Florida has taken in “3 injured Donkeys, 2 emaciated Arabians, 1 emaciated Paint, 1 Stallion Paint, 1 severely emaciated and sick Thoroughbred, 1 ‘crazy insane’ Stallion Pony, 2 severe mercy Euthanasias,” and at least 3 relatively healthy OTTBs.
All of the animals were rescued from Puerto Rico’s atrocious post-Hurricane Maria conditions.
Last fall, RVR suffered severe flooding, loss of electricity and compromised food supplies during Hurricane Irma. With the help of their community, the rescue was able to endure and rebuild.
“We feel very fortunate,” Kelly Ford with RVR told FOX 13 News, “and we also know that someday it could be our turn so we wanted to lend a helping hand when we could.”
Unfortunately, they did not have to wait long for their opportunity to pay it forward. Hurricane Maria spiraled through the Atlantic directly on Irma’s heals, decimating Puerto Rico and several Carribean islands.
With the help of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc., RVR began transporting needy Puerto Rican animals to the safety of their Florida property. They were flown from San Juan to Miami in special corrals, then driven four hours north to Hillsborough County.
Rescuers from Carribean Thoroughbred are on the ground in Puerto Rico struggling to help as many equines as possible, but the situation is overwhelming.
“They were at the racetrack, in cement stalls, in their own manure and urine for — some of them — up to 70 days,” said Lisa Gold of RVR Horse Rescue, “which is detrimental to their health.”
A great story of survival for some of the horses of Puerto Rico-this is what was left of their pens after hurricane Maria. Thanks to @RVRHorseRescue and Caribbean Throughbred Aftercare Inc-some have green pastures in Florida! Extraordinary Ordinaries tomorrow am on @FOX13News
Thanks to RVR, all of the rescued animals are receiving the physical and emotional care they need. The stallions have been gelded, wounds have been tended to, and bellies have been filled with nutritious food.
Some have a long road ahead, but for the folks at RVR Horse Rescue, it’s a debt of gratitude they are happy to pay.
“It makes me feel so gracious to the community for their support and makes me know that even in an area decimated there is light and people to help and we are so blessed and honored that we are able to do this for these animals,” Gold said.