This morning found Jason and Tawnee on the road early, they had over 400 miles to travel today. Jason is beginning to think he is more truck drive than horse rescuer these days!
Their first stop was at Petaluma Livestock Auction yard to see if they could rescue some poor helpless animals there.
Soon the horses were being ran through the ring. We have to be very discrete in taking pictures at the auction, this auction has kicked out other rescues for taking pictures, but this is one of the horses we saved.
Today was the first time we have ever been able to save every horse at a livestock auction! We have come close before, but it seems there is always 1 horse that sells for too much. There were only 3 horses, all nice big fat horses, and the KB wanted them badly. Every time Tawnee won the bid, his face would fall a little bit further. All 3 of the horses weighed over 1,000 lbs, and one of them weighed 1,300 lbs. Horses like that can bring in hundreds and hundreds of dollars at a slaughter house. The first horse, that weighed 1050 lbs, the KB stopped bidding at 13 cents a pound. Then the next horse, which weighed about the same, the KB got a bit more desperate to get a horse in his trailer, and he bid 29 cents a lb. The very last horse, the one that weighed 1,300 lbs, the KB bid 28 cents a pound, meaning he was willing to pay over $360 for one horse! He just could not believe his bad fortune that the rescue was there, and that he had to leave with no horses in his trailer.
Jason backed the trailer up to the loading chute to get the precious lives on board the rescue wagon.
We also rescued every calf at the auction! There were only 3, but all three found safety today. After Jason was backed up to the chute Tawnee went back to help load the calves.
After the calves were loaded the horses started going in. This is the 1,300 lb horse, an off the track TB.
As soon as possible Tawnee got to feeding the calves some nice yummy colostrum. It is definitely not as good as mommy's milk, but it at least fills the tummy and gives some nourishment. These calves were less than 24 hours old when they got rescued. We have seen calves dropped at auctions still wet and learning how to stand. Unbelievably sick.
After eating they laid down for a nice long nap. A rocking trailer can put anyone to sleep, especially babies with full tummies.
The next stop was to pick up Smokey. He was rescued by the people that were unable to keep him any longer. Now that his rehab is done they surrendered him to the rescue. He unfortunately is not sound so we will be evaluating him for adoptability and quality of life.
At the destination Robert met Tawnee and Jason with a cool glass of lemonade. His parents both died within a month of each other leaving 2 precious senior horses behind. He is going back to Germany as soon as he can settle the estate.
Meet Ginger, a 25 year old mare. She is in such good shape for her age and was taken care of superbly.
Jason led Honey to the trailer. She is 33 years old and is Gingers mommy. She sadly has arthritis which appears to be painful, but overall her weight and condition is amazing for her age.
The calves had to be unloaded from the big trailer into the little trailer so they could be taken back to the old rescue location.
The sun was setting while they drove away from the rescue, a long day but a very successful day. 3 horses saved from the KB at auction, 3 horses surrendered, and 3 calves rescued.