Update: Sorry for the delay in the update to Bobby’s story, we are heartbroke and it took us a little while to gather the strength to share. Bobby’s prognosis was not a good as we had hope and Bobby was released from his pain shortly after his vet appointment.
A quick search online for “Wildcat Bobby Luck” reveals this handsome registered buckskin paint stallion has a multitude of fans. One writer claims Bobby has sired 24 foals, another claims 117. Proud photos of his foals abound. And conversations run passionately regarding a variety of conformational attributes. His athletic ability and kind temperament have shown in his riding and roping performance career. He’s been praised as a stallion worth breeding since the turn of the century. Bobby has served his people well.
But Bobby’s people failed him.
Today, Bobby is a rescue.
Today, Bobby lives in a paddock at our Central Oregon equine rescue called Mustangs To The Rescue.
Bobby came to us skinny and foundering – a very tricky combination. His most recent owner had literally lost the farm and left Bobby tied to a tree for two months. Unfortunately, that was not the beginning of the abusive neglect for Bobby. Bobby’s owners had begun to fail him years before. After Mustangs To The Rescue responded to the owner’s phone call about Bobby, the truth began to emerge. Radiographs of his feet show crippling, career-ending, laminitis that probably happened YEARS ago. And Bobby’s owner’s denial of the truth may have cost Bobby his life.
Because of his laminitis, also known as founder, the bones in his front feet protruded through his soles.
Can you imagine? Walking around with your bones sticking into the ground and no one helping you? This is what Bobby’s owner(s) have done.
Many individuals would put a bullet in Bobby’s head.
Instead, we threw our resources at him. After years of faithful service to his people; we felt ‘we’ as community owed it to him. And several experts gave us hope.
Bobby is now getting professional attention to his feet and legs. Bobby is receiving appropriate nutrition. Bobby is receiving veterinary attention. And radiographs were taken so we could truly understand what was happening in his legs (worse than feared, by the way).
Bobby now spends his days accepting love from as many people as he can. Thanks to generous donations; Bobby wears special Soft Ride boots and receives Photonic Light treatments. Bobby gets Reiki, acupressure and receives a custom mix of healing herbs. Bobby’s coat now glistens, his eyes are kind and bright, and he is nothing but a gentleman. At first glance, Bobby is more than beautiful.
But big beautiful Bobby may be euthanized.
Why? Because Bobby lives a life of pain. Because Bobby is living on large amounts of pain killers while we assess if what we’re doing is working. Bobby lays down a lot to relieve the pain in his feet. He struggles to rise.
Bobby now chews on his protective boots. Is this because his feet are getting worse? Or is it because the treatments are working and his circulation is returning? Is this pain transitory during healing? Or is it a sign of worse things yet to come?
We have scheduled another veterinary visit early in the morning on Friday, September 19. Radiographs will help our team make our next series of choices. Friday may be a very rough day, both emotionally and financially. Our vet visit will cost our rescue program a few hundred dollars. Our volunteers will have to deal emotionally with the results, good or bad. But we feel it is important to gather more information.
Let’s dare to dream that the radiographs show improvement. Can we find the right combination of treatments to get Bobby out of pain while he continues to heal? Then, by chance, when he’s as comfortable as we can make him, who will keep him? Who will love him daily? Who will keep adjusting his treatments? Who will make that dreaded decision a decade from now when Bobby has lived a full life?
To many in his world, his only value is as a breeding animal and there are those in the paint horse world that would want this gorgeous horse for breeding.
But we see life as having value on its own – no need for a horse to create financial value for humans. Bobby will never go to a home where he will be bred again.
Mustangs To The Rescue is a Rescue, not a Sanctuary. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome horses. We cannot keep Bobby forever and there will be no forever for Bobby if he cannot live a life reasonably free of pain.
But if we’re lucky, we’ll need to find a home for Bobby.
Will it be a kind soul that just wants to help the gorgeous boy live out his days? Will it be his original breeders taking responsibility for what they produced? Or will it be someone who has produced many of his babies and wants to ‘pay it back’ to the old man?
What’s the next chapter in Bobby’s story?
Mustangs To The Rescue, a 501c3 non-profit, is an all breed equine rescue and rehabilitation organization, located in beautiful Central Oregon, just outside the town of Sisters. Mustangs to the Rescue relies on the generosity of our supporters to help us fulfill our mission of helping horses in need, and to help our local community by providing assistance, educational opportunities and resources to ensure safe and secure homes for our equine partners.
Your donation will allow this community organization to continue our work with Bobby and other horses in need. Won’t you consider making a donation today?
Mail your check to:
Mustangs to the Rescue
67717 Cloverdale Road
Sisters, OR 97759
stop in at any Mid Oregon Credit Union and make a donation to our account.