Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Story and Images Submitted by Louise Mitchell
The reason I bought my own mare Indie was that she needed a hug. She was in a sorry state and had just seen her 10 day old foal killed by a pack of dogs. I brought her home to Ireland and we have never looked back. I've always known she wants to mother again as she looks after all my herd like a mother hen. However, I am not prepared to breed from her. When I was approached by the ISPCA to offer a foster home I jumped at the chance. All I knew was that a 5 month old colt had been signed over to them. His mother had to go back to the owner but the little baby was unwanted. He was, thin, lice ridden, worm ridden, neglected and traumatised. Being a sucker for the underdog I had no hesitation. On the 3rd Feb 2011, he said goodbye to his mum, put in a trailer alone and in terrible stormy weather he went from Longford to West Clare.
He arrived, a tiny pathetic petrifed bag of bones. It took half an hour to coax him from the box and into his stable. It took a further 4 days before he stopped throwing himself at the wall whenever I came near. All he had ever known from humans was terror. He had been rescued from a building site and his short life was full of pain and hunger. Even being dosed and treated for lice and having a halter put on must have been horrific for him, although well intentioned. No wonder all he wanted was to flee.
So in the short time hes been here he's met the herd. Indie keeps him company in the next stable during the night. Oliver and Barney (3 and 4 yr old rebels) just want to play and will be his pals when the spring grass comes, and Ana my alpha mare will keep him in check if he tries to eat her grass!
Hes out of a Connemara mare to a cob stallion, typical of what Ireland's producing now. Hes a lucky one. I hope he will be a lifelong companion. I will do my best to earn his trust. So far, by feeding him 6 times a day and by sitting in his stable quietly, he has found the confidence to eat from the bucket by my side, to snuffle my hair and let me touch his nose. Today I cried with joy as after his feed he lay down at my side to doze while I read. I cant wait to see what his character is like as he comes out of his shell. His eyes now look bright, not dull and I even caught him doing a little buck around the stable yesterday when he thought I wasnt looking! He came with no name. But as I already had Indie and Ana (Indiana), he had to be Jones, but out of respect, I christened him Mr.Jones. Here's to his future.