Although Moose is no longer alive, the last year of his life was a happy one. His story is on the web site of Shiloh Acres – a horse rescue organization in Colorado. (To enlarge the photo of Moose, click on the photo or link)
His rescuer, Amber, describes him:
Moose was a very handsome, distinguished looking older Percheron who was bought by a kill buyer at a local sale barn in July of 2004. He had endured a long journey from New York, from auction to auction making his way to slaughter, because he had suffered a severe hip injury while working as a city carriage horse and he was deemed "worthless". I saw him at the sale barn as he was being picked up by the kill buyer, and after looking in his eyes I could not let him go to the fate he was headed towards. I convinced the kill buyer to sell him to me, and with a combination of medical treatment and acupuncture, he lived out the last year of his life mostly free of pain as a very much loved "pasture potato". When his condition worsened and his quality of life became questionable, we had him humanely euthanized on July 1st of 2005. Moose was one of the most amazing animals I have ever known, and I will miss him terribly. (To enlarge the photo of Moose, click on the photo or link)
Moose's feet had obviously been neglected for some time, and he only had one shoe still left on, and it was definitely a "road" shoe. I wish there was some way to track down his exact history...but I know for sure that he was a carriage horse somewhere, and his paperwork mentioned New York. (To enlarge the photo of Moose, click on the photo or link)
After Moose was euthanized, I had a necropsy performed on him to know exactly what was going on with his injured hip, since his size and injury prevented us from ever getting x-rays of his hip while he was alive. His injury was so extensive that the vets agreed that it could only have been caused by some severe trauma, like being hit by a car or falling over backwards. Everyone agreed that it was miraculous that he could even walk, let alone be pretty happy and pain free (and even trot!) for the year that I had him. I was quite surprised at how the acupuncture and medicinal therapies I had him on improved his quality of life so that he could enjoy that final year of life.
Unfortunately, it seems to be rather common that horses make their way through the auction circuit on their way to slaughter. I think they get bought by horse traders who make their money by buying cheap horses at one auction, and then sending them through another auction where they know they can get higher prices for them. Eventually, if the horse goes through enough auctions or just happens to be at an auction where a kill buyer is working out of, they get bought for slaughter. The auction that Moose went through is known to be the "last stop" for many horses before they go to slaughter.” (To enlarge the photo of Moose, click on the photo or link)
As you can see by his photos, Moose was a handsome boy and lived his last year on earth finally in peace and much loved.
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