Rudy has already proved himself to be a great equine battler. He is fighting back from horrific injuries in Oklahoma, with a growing band of supporters watching and praying that his recovery will continue.
He survived for many hours hopelessly tangled in a barbed wire fence, and suffered terrible injuries, apparently from other animals chewing on him.
A fundraising effort on youcaring.com to raise $US8000 toward the extensive veterinary care and rehabilitation he requires has already soared to $14,796, with 28 days remaining.
That is no surprise, given the harrowing circumstances of Rudy’s story.
Rudy came to the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division when it received a phone call from an individual asking that staff come out and remove a dead horse on New Year’s Day.
Since it was closed for the holiday, they told him that they would be out on Friday.
Animal welfare staff arrived on the scene to find a horse still very much alive and completely tangled up in a fence, with his ears chewed off and multiple wounds and injuries.
Rudy was signed over to the welfare division. He was released from the fence and taken to the division headquarters, where they called Dr Charlotte Kin with Exclusive Equine Veterinary Services.
Kin walked into the barn to find a horse with a lot of blood on his face, no ears and severe wounds all over.
“Although Rudy was in horrific condition, he neighed to her,” said Natalee Cross, of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue Inc, which now has the job of rehabilitating Rudy.
“Rudy knew he was going to receive the care he needed. He wanted to survive!”
Cross says he will require a lot of extensive care, wound cleaning, bandage changes and antibiotics for a long time.
“But, if Rudy is willing to fight to survive, then we will certainly fight with him and give him the second chance he deserves.”
His injuries include extensive facial injuries, the most dramatic being that both of his ears had been torn off, as well as a large portion of the right side of his face.
He has corneal ulcers in both eyes and both his upper and lower right eyelids had been torn off. He has a fractured jaw and a large piece of bone was removed. He has many lacerations and punctures on his head. He has numerous lacerations and punctures to all of his legs, including a possible septic tendon sheath.
Cross says Rudy has a very long road of recovery ahead of him.
“He isn’t in the clear yet, but we are praying that he will continue to fight and pull through this.”
Cross, providing an update on Youcaring.com, said she could not even begin to thank all the people who had supported Rudy.
“I know some don’t agree with our decision to help him and some feel he is better off being euthanized. I am sorry that you feel that way. But, Rudy is here, he has survived the worst part of this horrible ordeal.
“Rudy was down on the ground for two days, trapped in chain link fencing, being attacked by dogs, in the freezing ice and he never gave up. He fought to survive and we are fighting with him.”
Cross reported that Rudy was doing well on the fourth day of his recovery.
“If you try to leave, he tries to come with you. He spent the morning itching his head all over me. We got his wounds cleaned up and they are looking great.
“His wounds are healing as they are supposed to. Yes, his wounds look horrible, but the wounds are not life-threatening problems, as most of it is just skin.
“However, we have to watch for things like tetanus, since we don’t know his vaccine history.
“So far, nothing appears to be infected and he is on strong antibiotics and pain reliever. He doesn’t act as though he is in pain. He is chewing, eating, and drinking.
“He can see out of both eyes. We are leaving one eye covered with antibiotic ointment in it, so that it can heal.
“He can hear also, as he knows when I am coming and can hear me open his stall door. So far, he isn’t showing any lameness in his legs, most of those wounds appear to be superficial. We are watching one wound, as we want to make sure it is not in his tendon sheath. So far, that appears to be good also.”
Cross continued: “This horse has a fighting chance and will have a good quality of life.
“His jaw has one fracture and so far no signs of it affecting his sinuses, etc. We are watching that closely and if he shows any complications with his jaw, we will pursue surgery. Right now, everything looks good.
“Please keep the prayers coming,” she said. “There is power in prayer. Even if you don’t support our decision, it is still God’s will if he survives. The least you can do is pray for him.”
Oklahoma City authorities are considering pursuing charges in relation to Rudy over his treatment before his rescue.
Want to donate to Rudy’s care? You can do so here.