Rescuer determined to give Twinkle a chance |

Rescuer determined to give Twinkle a chance

Twinkle is getting a third chance, after two veterinarians determined the crippled and neglected horse should be euthanized.

Sammie’s Friends has joined forces with a Rough and Ready woman to help pay for the young horse’s rehabilitation.

Twinkle was emaciated and barely able to walk when Susannah Jones first found her at a ranch in Oregon.

“I have some land up in the high desert, and I often help the local cowboys with cattle drives,” Jones said.

Twinkle was living on a neighboring ranch run by two caretakers who had picked up a bad drug habit, Jones added.

“I first heard about Twinkle in May, when the cowboys were talking about a foal that had been harassed by the cow dogs,” she said. The foal had suffered some sort of blunt force trauma that shattered her shoulder.

“They knew she had been badly injured, but did nothing to help her,” Jones said. “I realized that they were hoping she would somehow ‘get better’ and that, at the least, would be suitable for a brood mare for their new stallion if she could not be ridden.

“As the months went by, they realized that she would not get better and that she would not even make a brood mare, as her injury made it impossible to hold a stallion on her back.”

In early September, Jones approached the caretakers of the ranch and asked if she could rescue the horse; luckily, the caretakers accepted.

“She had no food and was wandering round a black dirt area full of sharp rocks and a few pieces of dried grass,” Jones said. “She had barbed wire scars on her chest from stretching to reach equally dried grass on the other side of the fences.

“She was starving and in imminent danger of being taken by a mountain lion, as one had been seen stalking that area below the rimrock up there.”

After transporting Twinkle back to California, the long process of recovery began.

“We let her get over the journey and then had to get her feet trimmed, as the (hoof on the) good front leg she was using was grown out a couple of inches and had curled round under her sole and was beginning to grow into it,” Jones said. “The other leg was withered.”

Two veterinarians recommended euthanasia, but Jones was determined to keep the foal alive.

“We decided to give Twinkle one more chance,” Jones said. “We got another vet out, and she said … it would be interesting to see if her injured shoulder would fuse in the next year so that, although it might be uncomfortable at times, and though she might look odd walking, she could have a reasonable quality of life.”

But Jones soon realized that, without the help of the community and a rescue organization such as Sammie’s Friends, she wouldn’t be able to provide Twinkle with adequate care.

“I want to thank Cheryl” Wicks of Sammie’s Friends, Jones said. “I was really overwhelmed.”

Sammie’s Friends is helping raise funds to care for Twinkle’s ongoing veterinary bills; she is under the veterinary care of Dr. Linda Reznicek of Grass Valley. Donations can be sent to Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter, earmarked for the Twinkle Fund.

“We’re hoping to raise enough money so she can have acupuncture and glucosamine,” Jones said. “Euthanizing her would be wrong.”

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail or call (530) 477-4229.

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