Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Equine good samaritan reunited with her horse
by Bruce Smith
Rose Corey, the good samaritan who rode to the rescue on New Year's Eve to save a bleeding and neglected stallion from a Waller Rd. mud pit, has finally been reunited with the horse she calls Valor.
"I'm thrilled to have him home," said Corey. "He whinnied when he saw me this morning, so I know he's happy to be home, too."
Corey, who in February bought the horse she first rescued Dec. 31, has been waiting over a month for Pierce County Animal Control to transfer the stallion. The county had forcibly removed Valor from Corey's Creekwood Farm on Jan. 20 in a move to consolidate all fifteen horses impounded from Waller Rd. The county sought to preserve their prosecutory evidence against the principals of the Waller Rd. facility, Roxanne and Donna Gale.
In response, however, on Feb. 28 Corey filed a petition in District Court seeking custody of the stallion.
In a deal negotiated last week with Pierce County deputy prosecutor Allen Rose, the county returned Valor April 2. In addition, Corey has been granted "right of first refusal" in the adoption of a second horse she fostered, an 8-month-old foal named Teddy Bear.
As elated as Rose Corey is with Valor's return, she has strong feelings about the care her stallion received from Hope for Horses, the Snohomish facility Pierce County contracted to care for the horses impounded from Waller Rd.
"I had been dreaming for months of how he would look when I got him back," Corey said, "and I pictured him all fat and shiny. But when I saw him step out of the trailer from Hope for Horses, I gasped - he was emaciated."
Further drama ensued following the transfer of Valor, which took place at veterinarian Dr. Linda Hagerman's office. On the ride home to Corey's farm, Valor began eating a handful of loose hay in his trailer, but downed it so quickly that he choked. By the time they reached Creekwood Farm, Valor was convulsing with heavy streams of mucous flowing from his nostrils. Coached over the phone by Dr. Hagerman, Corey removed Valor from the trailer and placed him on the ground, then massaged his throat and administered spurts of water to drive the wedge of food further down the esophagus. Within minutes, Hagerman arrived at Creekwood Farm and injected Valor with Banamine, a drug designed to reduce inflammation and prevent him from going into shock. [CORRECTION: Valor was not placed on the ground.]
"I am so angry at Hope for Horses," Corey said. "Valor is in much worse shape than when he left here in January."
Corey charges that Hope for Horse, a nonprofit organization run by Jenny Edwards, did not adequately feed Valor, nor did they provide sufficient medical treatment for the horse's severely infected genitals.
However, Edwards and officials at Animal Control refute these claims and say all of the animals at Hope for Horses have received appropriate care. Auditor Pat McCarthy, whose department oversees Pierce County Animal Control, believes there has been a communication breakdown among lots of well-intentioned people. She confirmed that the animals at Hope for Horses all received veterinary care.
Corey shared the picture of Valor on this site, showing protruding ribs and a still unretracted penis, suggesting that Valor, at least, has been underfed and did not receive robust treatments.
"I feel like I've rescued Valor twice," said Corey.
In related legal action, Al Rose confirmed last week that the owner of the Waller Rd. facility, Donna Gale, still faces two counts of animal cruelty in the 2nd degree for her abuse of these horses. In addition, her sister, Roxanne Gale, failed to appear in District Court April 3 to answer her petition requesting the return of the remaining horses. Rose said Gales' absence will probably forfeit her claim. Since the county is paying Hope for Horses $4,500 per month in boarding costs, Rose also indicated that he expects adoption proceedings on the remaining horses to be initiated quickly.
A Horse Summit will be held Tuesday, April 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Frontier Park in Graham in The Lodge. It is a chance for horse owners to share their concerns with Pierce County's Animal Services and WSU Pierce County Extension. Those offices are seeking partners and resources to address the problem of under-cared-for horses.