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August 3, 2012

Hank Finds A Happy Home

Emaciated horse gets a second shot at happiness

The Humane Society of the United States / The Fund for Animals

  • Hank and his adopter Fabienne are a perfect match. Aubrey Gaines/The HSUS

When Hank arrived at the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, the first thing we noticed was his extremely emaciated body condition.

Also worrisome were the large, open wounds on both of Hank's hips that were so badly infected they had drained all over the floor of his horse trailer.

In sore shape

We later learned that Hank had been purchased as a pet for a little girl, but his owner was unable to afford a proper diet or veterinary care—or even euthanasia.

At 20 years old, Hank was in such a deteriorated state that we at first considered that humane euthanasia might be the most responsible thing. Hank, however, had other ideas.

From the moment he stepped off the trailer, Hank's kind eyes and gentle demeanor captivated us. We immediately began treating his wounds and started him on a proper diet. Our spirits lifted when his blood work came back normal—but we knew that Hank was not quite out of danger yet.

Hanks's road to recovery

For more than a month, we nursed Hank through swollen legs, high temperatures, skin issues, and draining wounds.

Hank's spirit and our staff's perseverance paid off when, a month later, the veterinarian pronounced him on the way to recovery.

As Hank gained strength, we wondered whether or not he would ever be strong enough to be a riding horse. It turned out that not only did Hank carry his riders like an old pro, but the extra exercise helped the circulation in his legs, which in turn stopped their swelling.

Love at first sight

Hank's recovery was miraculous, but he still needed a home. Then along came Fabienne McIntosh.

Fabienne had first came DDHRAC in November 2011, looking to adopt a horse. Because she had very little horse experience, she began volunteering at the Center while waiting for the perfect horse to come along. When she saw Hank, it was love at first sight.

In June 2012, Fabienne brought her dream horse home. Each day, she grooms his handsome red coat, feeds him treats, and takes him on long peaceful trail rides.

After a rough road, handsome Hank has finally found the love, care, and compassion every horse deserves.

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