A yearling paint filly named Worthy is being given a shot at a normal life thanks to a California animal sanctuary and its supporters.
Worthy was born with what is known as a windswept angular limb deformity in her front legs.
Her two front legs should have been corrected when she was a newborn, when the procedure would have been much simpler. Now older, the required surgery was much more complex.
Worthy and her mother, Indie, were rescued from difficult circumstances in South Carolina,
The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, which arranged the life-saving surgery, said Worthy would have been unable to live with the deformity, as her legs would eventually collapse under her growing weight.
The choice was either to put her down or try to save her with expensive corrective surgery.
The Gentle Barn reported on its Facebook page: “She is so sweet and so alive and we believe she deserves a chance.”
The Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, offered a 50 per cent discount on the surgery but, even so, the charity’s share of the operation was still likely to be $US30,000 to $US50,000. It is appealing for donations to help pay for the surgery.
Last Tuesday, with her mother patiently waiting in a stall, Worthy got her surgery.
The pair will remain at the hospital for three weeks as Worthy begins her recovery, after which the pair will return to a nearby pasture for another three weeks.
“She just came out of surgery and she walked back to her stall and her awaiting mommy,” the charity reported to its followers on Facebook.
“In two weeks Worthy will get her cast off and the surgeon will let us know how it looks. We jumped the first hurdle, but we are not out of the woods yet, please keep those good thoughts coming!”
Worthy was reported to be relaxing and doing well. “The leg is completely straight and so far, so good!”
It is hoped that Worthy will make a full recovery and can then travel to the Gentle Barn in California to become part of its therapeutic program.
The Gentle Barn Foundation is home to 135 animals rescued from abuse. The charity plays host to abused children, kids recovering from substance abuse, kids on probation, foster kids, and children and adults with mental, emotional, and physical challenges.
Through the interaction with animals, they learn forgiveness, courage, strength, leadership skills, trust, empathy, and kindness.
The healing that takes place when the children get together with the animals is miraculous, the charity says.
It was not all smooth sailing for Worthy and Indie.
The pair had to be boarded in Kentucky for two months after their arrival from South Carolina to regain condition and strength in preparation for the complex operation.
They were frightened of people, which also needed to be worked through.
Thousands have followed Worthy’s case on the Gentle Barn’s Facebook page and it also got network television coverage.
Anyone wanting to contribute to Worthy’s surgery can do so at https://www.gentlebarn.org/donate.php.