Dear Hip #584,
This morning, you were left at auction tied to a wall. You were aged, unsound, in pain and alone. No one saw where you came from or who dropped you off. Your previous owner snuck off into the crowd. They had rid themselves of the burden of your care.
You were a good boy. You lived a long life servicing people but that time had come when you no longer had a strong back to carry and sound legs to gallop safely through fields, bound over fences or bring home winning ribbons. You were even too old to safely teach children to love horses.
You were stripped of your name, your family and the life you knew. A sticker was affixed to your hip, and suddenly you were just another old nag at auction.
Your previous owners failed you, but your ERN friends did not….
But today was a good day after all. You waited patiently among the others tied to the wall. On the concrete floor, the pain was so excruciating you began to sweat as you watched the people mingle by. No one stopped to say hello or offer a carrot. Their eyes darted away so not to share your pain.
You remembered all the kind people in your life. The teenage girl who had taken you to shows and put ribbons on your bridle. All the older woman who fed you carrots after you carefully took them for a ride in the woods, and all the children you met at camp each year. The children who would hugged you and brushed you. Where were all those nice people? Where were the people that loved you?
Finally, the moment came when some strange man led you away from the wall and into a ring surrounded by people. You stood in the ring only for seconds, while people shouted and some waved, and then you were led back and tied to another wall. Confused, and now surrounded by different horses. Your legs screamed out in pain. People walked by as if you were invisible.
What you didn’t know is we saw you. We felt your pain. We are compassionate rescuers who looked at you when others looked away. We knew that your value was only to killbuyers, the Zoo Guy or Bravo Meat Packing (NJ). We knew that standing tied to a concrete wall was only the beginning of a long uncomfortable, unconscionable journey to slaughter.
Your sad face, sunken eyes and grey muzzle told us you needed our help. We pooled our money, outbid the killbuyers and purchased you for $210. Then we invited more people to help us pool more money to give you a proper ending.
We brushed you. We hugged you. We fed you yummy treats. We pulled off your hip tag and called you “Beau” so that you had a name in the end. We were gathered around you when the world went dark. We watched as your pain left and you laid down to rest. You deserved to rest and as rescuers, we know sometimes rest is best. Good Night Beau. We won’t forget you.
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