CVHR Sanctuary program ~ Storm
Coachella Valley Horse Rescue
R.I.P. Storm 10/15/14
Storm we love you!
We will see you again!
You have been our LIGHT in the Storm!
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
You have been our light in the Storm!!!
She was a rescue horse that is in a forever home.
Imagine being a horse born on a breeding ranch for paints and having the misfortune of having a solid colored coat. There were twenty-five mares, all pregnant, which shared that fate in Fallen, Nevada, 2009. Deemed worthless, they were all sent to a feedlot, a place to be fattened up before heading off squeezed together like sardines in a truck to Canada for slaughter.
Equine Rescuers Shirley Puga and Marlene Dodge leaped into service and intervened just before the truck left the feedlot on their way to the slaughterhouse. The owners of the feedlot only allowed them to buy five horses in exchange for the price of what they would have made for the meat. The five pregnant yearlings at the back of the loaded truck were to survive. One of those horses would later be called Storm.
Coachella Valley Horse Rescue in Indio, California originally arranged for the adoption of the two-year-old mare, Storm. We tried to find her a new forever home. Unfortunately the person who adopted her could not deal with a wild, feral, pregnant mare, full of fear and vigor. Three months later, still wild and not halter broke Storm was returned to our ranch.
When Storm arrived, she was terrified. She bolted out of the trailer and at that moment I quickly understood why her name was Storm. For six days, one hour at a time, I sat patiently reading a book in this shy horse's stall while she approached me for a few minutes at a time. By not making any demands on her, she learned to trust me. Storm grabbed my book in her mouth running across the stall, wanting play and attention.
On April 07, 2010 very early in the morning I received a phone call that Storm had a healthy baby boy in her stall. We were told she was due in early June. What a surprise! We named her perfect little colt Thunder. As a two-year-old mom, Storm did a great job. This was a miracle because, due to stress, the other four very young mares that were rescued with Storm lost their foals before birth. Storm’s baby Thunder was adopted as a yearling.
I spent a year or more of training and gentling Storm preparing her for a new home. Unfortunately, unforeseen personal circumstances prevented her adoption once again. Storm remained in my care as I prayed for a perfect forever home for her.
I have been blessed to have the experience of receiving Storm's love, rehabilitating and helping her to trust humans again. I took the time to train Storm from the ground up. Everything was moving forward during her training including 30 days in the saddle until, in October 2012, I noticed she had a swelling on one side of her neck. After a number of visits to the local vet, it was clear that Storm needed a different kind of help.
Shirley Puga, our equine angel, who saved Storm from slaughter, urged me to take her to a local gelding clinic to meet Dr. Davis from UC Davis. He referred Dr. Galupo who called me to set up an appointment to bring Storm from Indio in southern California to Davis. After a twelve-hour drive, Shirley and I arrived with Storm.
From an x-ray, it was apparent that Storm needed surgery as soon as possible. Dr. Gray, a vet working with Dr. Galupo informed me that Storm had three broken bones in her neck that caused the insidious infection. She explained to me the severity of Storm’s condition and that Dr. Galupo would consult with me after looking at the x-rays. If surgery were a possibility, they would need to be very aggressive to get all of the infection so that it would not come back. She informed me that there was a chance that Storm could have fictitious withers and they needed to send a culture to the lab. If she tested positive then the infection would reoccur even after aggressive surgery, which could be fatal. I waited patiently for the results believing in my heart that everything would be okay. Sure enough it was negative. . I always knew in my heart that Storm was a survivor and had a strong will to live. However, when I had shown my sadness, Shirley Puga and other members of the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue organization encouraged me to be strong for Storm and not to let her see me in a weak moment.
After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. Galupo told me that if she survived the surgery, Storm would probably not be ridden again and her life would never be the same. It could take her up to a year to heal if she were to survive. He asked me what her purpose would be as a rescued horse hoping to be adopted. He also informed me that the surgery and rehabilitation could cost up to $14,000. He gave Storm a ten percent chance to live through surgery. I needed some time to take this all in. I called a good friend and he encouraged me that when you think about one through ten that ten being the highest, ten is a great number!
Dr. Galupo and I discussed scheduling her surgery. Once again he gave Storm a ten percent chance to survive the surgery. Remembering my recent pep talk I just looked at the doctor with tears in my eyes and said, “Ten is a great number, and please have faith.” I believed we would raise the money for her surgery knowing that all things are possible. I told the doctor that if you give it everything you have during the surgery, Storm would give you everything she has back. Her purpose is to just love and be loved and that is enough.
It was another miracle. With the help of dear friends and animal lovers, we raised all of the funds for Storm. Her surgery was a success and she cooperated 100% with the doctors and attendees. They all said that her ground manners were impeccable. Everyone loved her at the hospital. It was truly her will to survive.
After Storm’s lengthy six-week rehabilitation, my dear friend Sandra Eppolito and I went back to UC Davis. Dr. Galupo and Dr. Gray, who together performed the surgery, gave me her report. Dr. Galupo, with tears in his eyes told me, “Ten is a great number and I have Faith. Storm has changed all future surgeries of this type and the survival percentage is now higher because of Storm. Yes, she is a survivor with a strong will to live.”
We at the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue want to thank every angel that has been a part of Storm’s life and Dr. Galupo, Dr. Gray and their medical staff for having the faith to see the light in the Storm.
Storm is up for adoption one year after her surgery. We hope to find her a loving forever home.
With Gratitude and Love,
Storm, Annette and the non-profit Coachella Valley Horse Rescue