Written by Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue in Oklahoma
Irene and Ali came into our rescue program unexpectedly one April evening. The date of their arrival was a very unusual one for me, as I found myself drawn to the Jones Livestock Auction. This is a very rare occasion for me, because I know that I can’t save them all and with the overwhelming number of cruelty cases that I get in, I just don’t have the funds to purchase horses. However, for reasons that are very clear to me today, I found myself walking through the livestock barn in Jones on this particular Thursday night viewing the horses. As I reached the last stall in the barn, I found this pair. Irene, a 17-year-old paint, had just given birth to her daughter Ali two days prior to being taken to the sale barn. This newborn filly was being exposed to all types of illnesses at the sale barn. And her mama was crippled, blind in one eye, had a huge abscess on the side of her face and was very underweight. Other than the fact that she didn’t like the other horses looking at her baby, she was just the sweetest girl and seemed to scream “help me!”
That was all I needed to see. I knew then that I was staying for the evening.
Irene was one of the last horses to come through the sale and not even the ‘kill buyer’ would bid on her. No one offered up a single bid, and then the auctioneer looked at us, since he knows who we are and what we do, and we immediately said, “Yes. Of course.” No one was willing to save this special momma and her baby, but we did so without hesitation.
They Came Home With Us
We brought them home and had our veterinarian examine them immediately. Baby Ali had diarrhea and we were concerned for her life, as we know she was exposed to strangles (a highly contageous and serious infection). We immediately treated her for the diarrhea and prayed that she would survive. Momma’s huge abscess turned out to be caused by strangles, so our veterinarian immediately drained the wound and flushed it out.
Irene was placed on antibiotics and the next several days were crucial. We watched over the two very closely and baby Ali started thriving, trying to eat with momma, growing and doing great.
Just one month later, Momma had gained 100 pounds and was just the sweetest girl you will ever meet, always greeting us with a friendly nicker. Ali began to run, buck, play and grow like a weed. In fact, Ali was almost as tall as her momma in just a few short weeks and quite a flashy girl.
We knew we had to find the right home for this pair with a family who would look past Irene’s handicap and offer her the loving, forever home that she and her foal so greatly deserved. After all, Irene didn’t ask to be put through all that she has. She only wanted someone to love her and her baby.
Today, Irene and Ali are living in Halstead, Kansas. They are well loved and spoiled rotten.
Ten Years of Saving Lives
Over the past 10 years, Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue has saved 841 horses and counting. Most of them have been victims of severe neglect or cruelty and the Cross family is devoted to nursing each horse back to health in body and soul.
As Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue is readying to receive more mothers and foals this spring, they’re counting on the World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals for help. This event brings together small but powerful rescue teams from around the world in a collective mission to save the animals others deem unreachable.