Equine Rescue

Who Will Cry for Me?

story by Jerry Finch ~ President/Founder of Habitat for Horses

Warm Hearts and Healing Hands Try to Save Another

photo courtesy of Habitat for Horses

He came to us because our vet asked us to pick him up. Nothing unusual about the call – a horse down, unable to rise. We’re used to those calls, and the ranch crew responded quickly and with practiced perfection. In a short time the horse, a young gelding, was on the Emergency Glide at the barn as the crew started hooking him up to the Anderson Sling.

This time the horse didn’t do what we’ve come to expect. There was no effort to move his back legs, very little movement on the front. The vet decided that it would be best to put him in the stall. The horse made several feeble attempts to sit up, but the strength wasn’t there. Doc hooked up the IV’s, we doctored his scrapes and one of the volunteers held his head up as he drank a little water and munched on hay. That didn’t last long. Too weak, he stretched out and went to sleep.

There was a brief period of time that we thought things were getting better. With a hay bale supporting him, he spent the better part of the next day munching hay and interacting with his visitors, and the visitors became his friends. They stayed and held his head, washed him down, helped turn him over, replacing the soiled shavings and kept his water and hay close so he didn’t go without.

The stories from those who “owned” him kept changing. One person said he’d been down for 10 days, another said it just happened, that he tripped while running. One of them mumbled something about another vet having done something, but when questioned, it became very difficult for them to understand the English language. Needless to say, our vet was not only frustrated from not getting the true story, but also from the lack of response the horse was giving to all our efforts.

He went downhill pretty fast. While his eyes followed everyone and on occasion he’d weakly lift his head, there were no more efforts to sit up. Another attempt in the sling proved futile. He was moved back to the stall and made comfortable. By now, we pretty much know where this was going.

And that’s when the tears started. One volunteer spent the entire day with him, cleaning and talking, holding and hoping. The office staff came, the ranch crew spent more time with him. His body was failing, we all saw that. A young, beautiful horse – and nothing we did would bring him back. The force of life simply drained away.

It happened quickly. One moment he was awake, the next moment there was no heartbeat. The spirit, the soul, simply floated away, leaving a swollen, scraped up body, a few flakes of uneaten hay, a carrot that he never tasted, and the tears of those who stood by him through the end.

We knew him for three days. We knew a spirit that struggled for life. We touched and whispered and held and prayed and in the end we watched him fly away. Perhaps for those final hours he knew about human compassion, felt the depth of human love. I can only hope that it was so.

Jerry Finch
Habitat for Horses, Inc.
PO Box 213
Hitchcock, TX 77563

49 replies »

  1. Crying – I’ll allow myself to cry, to grieve for this horse I only know through your words, his story – condolences of course, but the words “I’m so very sorry for your loss” somehow ring hollow in the face of the anger I feel mixing with my tears – I’ll go hug my horse, and roll up my sleeves to continue to do what I can to help in the fight against the neglect, abuse, imprisonment and slaughter of horse and burros. Blessings on you all for your compassion.


  2. I have been there. My heart breaks, the anger sends more tears. My resolve is stronger. I will never stop, I will never give up fighting. Its all for our Horses. The pure souls who have taught me so much, and teach me more each and every day. God Bless You.


  3. My heart hurts, The anger fuels more tears. My resolve is certain, unshakable. I will fight for the Horses until I cannot fight anymore. They saved me from myself, and teach me simplicity and transparency each and every day. God Bless You R.T.


      • He didn’t die alone. Would like to share a poem for him, and all horses:

        You are not alone
        The centuries fight for you
        Eternity is your ally
        You are in the keeping of the One
        Who holds you with love
        That will not let you go.


        Thank you, RT. Thank you, Jerry



  4. Thank you Terry, RT, and Terry for all you do. With this reminder of why I do what I do, I’m heading out to very tiredly nurse my lame gelding without complaint. Thanks for the dose of reality, perspective, and humility this beautiful morning here in MD. Keep up the good work.


    • If you could see my sister’s texting, you would not feel the need to correct those minor mismashed keys.



  5. How can some people be so cruel? Why don’t people understand that our animals feel just like we do. There is pain, hunger, sadness, fear and yes even JOY just like we (Humans) feel. I’m crying for this poor soul who came to know kindness and caring only after the hell he lived. At the same time Thanking God for people like you and your crew. Patti Crowther I agree with you it is a disappointment sometimes!


  6. Thank you again R.T. for sharing his story…at least all can take comfort that he is no longer in pain and is now running free. When I look up at the sky today maybe I will see him running in the clouds! Hoping his was not yet another case of Equine Herpes and I hope they get a translator so the horses owners can no longer use, I don’t understand…..


  7. Kim, you hit the nail on the head; humans are the cruelest creatures on this earth. Thank you Jerry and your team for what you do. You do the dirty work and clean up the messes of horse owners that have no business having one! My heart goes out to this kind soul.


  8. There are so many stories just like this unfortunately. Well its more than unfortunate but words fail me now. I keep a memorial candle in my office and when I am in there I tell the horses this is in their memory, in honor of their suffering and a remembrance of their incredible spirit. I keep it lit whenever I am in there.


  9. I cry for him as I have cried for those I could not save…. Envelope your freedom without pain, without hunger or thirst on the other side of that rainbow bridge…and know that you are loved….


  10. I do believe that any creature that is shown the love and compassion that DOES exist, realizes that now the soul can be released to move on. It makes it much easier to let go (for them, not necessarily for those of us left here).


  11. Another story evoking tears, tears, and tears. I’m crying so hard I cannot type. Why do humans treat these beautiful animals like a old dirty piece of furniture to be thrown out like the wind or deprived of love, food, and knowing that there’s someone who cares. At least, this once beautiful animal, this horse knew love, caring, and could see people giving to him when he needed it most. I know he even saw them crying for him in his final days. Why is there so many of these beautiful animals suffering day in and day out? The human race makes me sick. I’d rather give to a horse, dog, or cat than to a human that would do this to our four legged family members. Jerry, God Bless you for all you do for those that need it. I wish all of us that cares could help those in need when you need us, but mileage is against us. I know I would help but California is a long way from you. Keep up the good work, my prayers are with you each day for the work you do. I only wish I could help you save these animals and all the wild horses, the ones at auctions, and all who are wanting food and love that their humans are letting suffer. May this year, R.T., we win the fight for our wild ones and somehow get a bill passed not allowing our horses and burros to cross any of our borders. May this once beautiful horse run around in heaven, beautiful like he used to be, shiny, and happy forever. He knew he was loved at the end. And may those like Slaughterhouse Sue get what they deserve. A kick in the rear and forever getting a look of contempt from all around her.


  12. My heart cries for this victim of untold cruelties.Why can’t we do something to the owners? They need to suffer penalties or it will go on and on.
    Thank you Jerry for sharing and R.T. for posting it.


  13. Jerry, we’ll all cry for him — but the thing that is the worst is that we have to. There should be no need for a young horse to be in this sad situation — there should be no way for it to happen. That’s the saddest thing, that we can’t prevent it.

    Blessings on you and HfH for helping ease this poor young animal’s way.


    • I agree.

      This took a LONG TIME to happen….involved many humans and those in authority. What scares me is that many of those involved (the abusers/enablers) probably have children that watched this. The worst that we here fear is that we have another generation of creeps; with luck those kids will learn what NOT to be from the negative.

      To the poster that mentioned SS….she’d say this happened because we don’t have slaughterhouses in the US. Jeeze Louweeze!!! She seems to be skipping a few logic steps in her maniacal pursuit of meat, “all Ag is good” and personal property tripe.

      The horse knew kindness in the end after his brutal saga….not all humans are garbage or bullies. The creeps just have a ton of power, vices and/or apathy on their side.

      Ain’t no apathy on this and several other boards or groups.


  14. Oh!! I wish I hadn’t read this, now I’m in tears!! 😦 That poor, poor, dear, sweet horse!! At least he knew & felt love & kindness in his last hours. I sincerely hope & pray whoever did this to him pays dearly, &, NEVER is allowed to have another horse, or ANY animal, EVER!!


    • Sadly, the animal abuser/enabler garbage has been stated by Jerry….”well, that’s not my horse”, “I was just pet sitting”, “don’t know how he got into my field”, “X person said THEY were feeding”, “lost my job”……yahduhyaduh abuser garbage.

      Been there, done that and I don’t want the T-shirt for the garbage lies from the people associated with so many animals seen in my volunteer rescue days. Also the fact that many jurisdiction just don’t give a darn about animal legal stuff helps the abuse/death train to continue to roll along.

      And to think, Jerry and his crew deal with this carnage and apathy EVERYDAY!

      Special people…very special people.


  15. This story reminds me of Windchill. Someone actually starved this horse to death?, or allowed him to be down FOR TEN WHOLE DAYS…Geez even I know to call the vet. And while this may sound harsh–if these people didn’t have the funds a quick bullet would’ve been much kinder.

    But then somehow these people knew to call Jerry, so another question is– why didn’t they call sooner and then they wouldn’t allow the horse to suffer.

    Poor horse. I’m glad he felt nothing but kindness in his last hours.

    For those that have a horse–since I don’t have one could I ask you to please give your horses an extra hug and a kiss for me? Thanks!


  16. More tears … and more fears for those who will be “next” to suffer. Thank you ALL who do a little something every single day for the beautiful side of life .. our innocent animals.


  17. I will cry for him and all of the others…………………Also I thank all who tryed to help him ,there are many Angels here !!!!


  18. Still crying for this prescious soul. You will not be forgotten and you were truly loved. Enjoy the green pastures at the rainbow ridge!. RIP sweet baby.


  19. Thanks for giving a warm, compassionate, dignified ending to this little lost soul. Thank you, Jerry and all his saviors~


  20. Wouldnt it be ironic if on Judgement Day standing at those Pearly gates is the Jury ! THe Horses,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


    • I am quite confident that you are not too far from the truth. Contemporary man has lost touch with the world that surrounds him/her and has lost contact with the spiritual circle that binds all living things together, this will be the downfall of humankind and the horse nation is attempting to show us our own cruelty through their eyes and the suffering that we rain down upon them.

      Sent from R.T.’s iPad


      • Thank You RT, I had a dream the other nite , that was part of it……………..Oh Yes there is no doubt our Wild Mustangs , have many messages for us, I only wish all could see this, if they could there would be an immediate change, What they are offering to us is important and essential to our survival and most important for the future………………… I have realized their importance from first meeting……. They were given extreme Beauty, and the power to survive…… But that is only the surface………………………………. We must use every means possible to save them…………………………….


      • Ok guys…just to be clear, this piece was written by my good buddy Jerry Finch.

        I don’t want to get too bruised up from his elbow in my ribs for taking the credit for his fine work as he has very sharp elbows.


  21. This story was just heart-breaking. I feel the same as many other people, I would rather give to our four-legged friends than to a person. I cried for this horse that I’ve never seen, but at least there were kind people taking care of him during his last hours. I’m still crying as I type. I can not understand the cruelty that people do to our animal friends. There were 7 horses and a donkey just picked up in Conroe – one horse was 400 pounds underweight. The other horses were extremely poor. The owner did transfer ownership to the Houston SPCA. I think he should have gone to jail for at least one year. Anyone with eyesight could see the bones on the horses and donkey. This owner just didn’t care if the horses went hungry or not. After seeing him on the video, he’s never missed a meal. If you care to go to Montgomerycountypolicereporter.com, you can see the trial video.


  22. Weeping with a broken heart for this precious life and so many others who suffer and have suffered needlessly. What a tragedy that there would be such disrespect and disdain for the lives of innocent and defenseless living beings.

    I want the evil, heartless perpetrators of these senseless crimes of abuse and neglect punished to the fullest extent of the law – and then some! They don’t deserve mercy. Let them go without food, water and care for a few weeks, in the same way they treated the defenseless animals and see how they like it. (Okay, I understand the abuse went on for a much longer period of time, but of course we can’t treat the people as evil as they did the horses – as much as they deserve it.) If they are not severely punished, they will just continue in the same pattern. They still may fall back in the pattern of abuse and neglect, even if punished appropriate to the crime. They will have to be watched and the law better crack down on them for ANY and ALL infractions.

    Prayers for all our four-legged friends.


  23. We know we should be “our neighbor’s keeper” (i.e. watch out for them) and it is apparent that we must watch out for the welfare of our neighbors’ animals too. I have heard of similar neglect cases that took weeks before any law-enforcement or animal welfare official actually DID anything about the animal(s). It seemed they wanted to look the other way and/or pass the buck to someone else’s office – so to speak. I realize that each situation is different but does anyone have a helpful list of what steps can or cannot be done to get a neglected animal to safety?


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