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Rescued Horse Shines

Published: 10/27/2011
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

We watch those horrible news stories about animals being seized from abusive or neglectful owners. We see their thin, dirty bodies and hope that they truly have been saved and will live better lives.

But what really happens?
Read more Rescue Stories

In one specific case, anyway, hats off to the state and the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. The Society has saved thousands of lives since it was established in 1872. Just take a walk down the aisles of their Windham barns to see how many presumably wrecked lives have been salvaged.

Brooke, a beautiful bay quarterhorse mare, is one of them.

She came to the MSSPA several years ago after being seized by the state. At the time of the seizure, she was being kept in a 10 x 10 foot stall with three other horses. She gave birth to a colt in that same stall and for years had to fight for food and space. It was a desperate life.
But at the MSSPA barn, she flourished. Her survivor attitude and zest for life made her an exciting, albeit challenging, adoption prospect.

After many years of loving care, she left the MSSPA for her new life at my farm. Here, she lives with two other horses in a safe, relaxed environment. She can come and go into her stall whenever she likes.

No more prison. No more starving.

I recently had the privilege of taking Brooke to a fundraiser for the Maine Equine Welfare Alliance at a Tractor Supply store. She was the MEWA greeter - calm and friendly, accepting all comers including elderly with walkers, yappy dogs, and excitable toddlers.

She handled it all with grace, never pinning her ears back, never acting aggressively, never showing signs of discomfort or anxiety. She stood patiently at the store entrance and took a few breaks to graze on nearby grass.
It was Proof Positive. Those very horses you might have last seen in a sorry, traumatized state, can recover and flourished with love and support.
I’m forever thankful to the MSSPA for saving Brooke and giving her a second chance at a happy, productive life.

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10/27/2011 Carol King
The Way Life Should Be for those rescued by MSSPA and people like you. My life-long dream is to have about 100 acres and barns like the MSSPA so I could help. Won't happen at this stage of my life, but I'll keep warm thoughts for those who do.
10/27/2011 Barbara
Maddy, Having witnessed first hand the day Brooke arrived at your farm, I can attest to the fact that your love and patience has brought Brooke to the gentle horse that greeted horses on behalf of MEWA. Thanks for all you do to champion the cause of abused horses and for giving Brook the home she deserves.
10/27/2011 Vince Mahany
Hey Maddy, God Bless you, MSSPA and Mother Goodreau, We first met Brooke in late 2007 at the Saco farm that she was boarded at. Mother Goodreau helped us by having Chris Lombard do an evaluation. We fell in love with Ms Brooke and soon found that she was beyond our level of ability to train. God bless you for all that you have done with this lady. Brooke shall always be in my heart as the Lady that got away. Maddy, cannot thank you enough for what you are doing for the community.
10/27/2011 Melanie
Having been at the fund raiser I can confirm that not only was Brooke a model greeter, she was the main reason people took a moment to stop at the table and inquire about MEWA. Her real life rescue story prompted some donations that I believe would not have happened without her presence. Brooke impressed the staff at Tractor Supply so much, she was rewarded a container of treats. Not to take anything away from Brooke, but Maddy gets an A+ for donating her time, wonderful interaction with the TS customers, and her calm and trusting handling of Brooke. Also, just want to drop an extra 'thank you' to Tractor Supply for the support and cooperation they gave.
10/27/2011 Gail Allenson
Hi Maddy....I have adopted 8 horses from MSSPA...5 are still alive and living the high life! Blue has been with me for 17 years and is 30 years old!! My paint gelding,Ice,is on youtube...playing with a giant ball...happy as can be. These horses have taught me so much and are such a joy!!Thank you for giving a shout out to these wonderful horses who deserve our love and give it back 110%!!
11/6/2011 Toby, head2toe
I have had the pleasure of talking to Marilyn, she does a great job with her rescue, my passion would be to save all the horses too, the neglect that I have seen and heard are horrifying, speaking of, the Don Genthner case, and Fair play farm case. Both of these cases are very personal to me. I have worked on a project for a horse rescue for over a year, after coming back from N.Y., there were places that had me make this decision. Hoping to save the horses in Maine. I respect the ones that can, for it takes alot of money to operate these facilities. So for now I devoted my energy into my shop, hoping some day to be able to make a differance in the life of a negleted or abused equine, and in hopes to share my knowledge with others on basic horse care.

"Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management." - George H. Morris