Community is the backbone of Blue Ridge Rescue, an organization that through the help of foster homes throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois has rescued, rehabilitated, trained and adopted out over 325 horses and equines. While they have helped a wide variety of farm animals they specialize in miniature horses and small ponies.
To truly understand the spirit, heart and strength at Blue Ridge, one need look no further than the rescue’s mascot. Born on a large breeding farm with a genetic defect that caused her legs to be deformed, this tiny miniature horse would have been put down if Blue Ridge hadn’t stepped in. Her front leg deformities made it nearly impossible for her to walk, but Blue Ridge staff knew they had to help. A local prosthetic company designed and donated a special brace for her front leg in order to help her walk and she was loving her new life.
However, after six months she began to deteriorate and x-rays revealed bone deformities that would require some out-of-the-box thinking. Thankfully the surgeons at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine were up to the task. Due to her size, she was a candidate for a radical surgery usually performed on dogs. Surgeons were able to remove the two problem bones and reset the remaining bone with a plate and screws, leaving Bunny with a peg leg. Her peg leg meant that she began spending her days hopping around the rescue, hence she was given the name Bunny.
The changes to Bunny’s front legs required special shoes to be made so that she could learn to walk on her new legs. The shoes were tiny high-heels, affectionately known around the rescue as Bunny’s princess slippers. Her journey and recovery are nothing short of miraculous, she serves as a constant reminder of the spirit that embodies the work done at Blue Ridge as she bounds about every day.
Several of the animals that have found their way to Blue Ridge remain as lifelong residents of the sanctuary, often suffering from disabilities, blindness or long-term illness. They believe that these animals deserve to live the rest of their lives in a loving environment no matter their state. Animals that are able are rehabilitated and trained. The goal is “that after rehabilitation they can in time be adopted out to a loving and lifelong home; where they will be able to live out their life in a loving, caring and healthy environment,” says Blue Ridge staff.
Bunny’s path and that of the many other animals that Blue Ridge helps are funded and made possible by the generous dedication of their supporters. As they say, “we take pride in the volunteer work we do with these rescues in rehabilitating and training them to be safe and sound for a new life with a new family. Your payment or donation to help fund our rescue for these animals will continue to "help us help them”.
Blue Ridge Rescue
Blue Grass, Iowa
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: