“Lily looks like a different horse…”
In a matter of two months’ time and lots of tender loving care, the Arabian/Appaloosa mare named Lily that once had an unflattering coat of many colors looks like a different horse.
She is 150 pounds heavier and has gained vision back in one eye. And she is all white again.
“People wouldn’t recognize her. That’s how miraculous the change is,” said Kelly Smith, director of York County-based Omega Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, which was given ownership of the horse that was found abandoned in March at the New Holland Sales Stable.
Lily continues to be boarded at a private rehab farm in Kennett Square next to Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, where the malnourished, ill-kept 20- to 25-year-old horse was taken for treatment. She had uveitis, an inflammation, in both of her eyes when she arrived at New Bolton.
Veterinarians had to remove her right eye but an experimental treatment that involved putting injections into her left eye helped save it. Dr. Nikki Scherrer, who is her tending vet, said that “it worked fabulously.” She regained about 80 percent of the vision in that eye and keeps it completely open.
Her teeth were another problem. It took a dentist two days of working on her teeth so she could eat properly, Smith said. But now that problem is resolved as evidenced by Lily’s weight gain.
Meanwhile, the only person who has been charged in this animal cruelty case is Philip S. Price, 65, of East Providence, R.I. He received five summary citations – three counts of animal cruelty, a single count of dealing and handling animals without a license, and a single count of importing animals without an interstate health certificate.
Those charges are not associated with Lily’s poor health or the paint splattered on her coat. No one has been charged for that. Rather, Price’s citations relate to transporting her to New Holland from New Jersey on March 14 and abandoning her.
Price pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to have a trial Friday before District Judge Rodney Hartman in New Holland.
While others seek justice for the cruelty shown to her in her past, Lily is moving on to greener pastures.
At the rehab farm, Smith and Scherrer said Lily hangs out with another horse named Anita, a paint horse that was rescued from slaughter and like Lily, lost one of her eyes. Anita’s was due to cancer. Smith grows silent when asked if she has received any inquiries from people interested in adopting her. She said because of the pending court case, she is unable to talk about it.
“Lily is very, very loving. She’s very kind, very forgiving for all that she’s had going on with all the treatment and all that,” Smith said.
Scherrer described her as one of the sweetest horses she works with. She said, “It’s amazing how forgiving horses are.”