Sven was the very first pony to arrive at Little Bear Stables. I had set out on a mission to find a pony for our children. I came across Sven being advertised on a local farm page. We visited him at his home in CT and discovered he had been locked up in his stall for well over 3 months with no turn out time. I did not intend for him to be a "rescue" but we decided right away he would come home with us. Sven settled in and very quickly become a much loved member of our family. He is the most amazing little pony to our children as well as others, and has many fans! Sven is in his forever home with us.
Then & Now
Gracie was one of our first rescues. I found her on an auction page for the Bastrop, LA kill pen. I only had that single sad picture for information on her. All we knew was that she looked young and very sad. Gracie came to us, with King, in December of 2020. She arrived on a frigid day, scared and clearly very sick. We learned quickly that she was completely unhandled, and very fearful of humans. I could not get near here or she would strike back with very aggressive behavior, often kicking or rearing. She was very dangerous and we could not get her treated. It took many months of hand feeding her and alot of patience, but she started slowly to come around and accept that we wouldn't hurt her. It took us nearly 6 months, but we were finally able to get her vaccinated and treated for her illnesses. Upon finally seeing the vet, we learned that she is likely very young, only a baby. And that she was likely separated from her mom in the kill pen. (Which certainly explained why she hated us so much at first!) She is now a happy, friendly, and very loveable horse who follows me nearly everywhere. We have mastered lead line training and we are moving on to saddle training next. She has grown into the most beautiful horse, and she has her entire life ahead of her.
Then & Now
King was one of our first rescues. We rescued him at the same time that we rescued Gracie. Both of them came to us in December of 2020, from the Bastrop, LA kill pen. As with Gracie, I had little information on him and his former life. We knew he was previously owned by the Amish, and we were told he was "around 10". When King arrived we were completely taken aback, he was MUCH bigger in real life than what his info had listed. And he was also much meaner! He was not treated well in his life, and sought to take out revenge on anyone and everyone who tried to get near him. He was very aggressive and dangerous for the first couple months we had him. Little by little he slowly came to trust us, however he can still be a tad moody! The Vet placed him at age 20, and has told us that he is very sore and stiff. He is officially in retirement and will live out the rest of his days with us, eating and being lazy.
Then & Now
Lexi came to us in February of 2021. She was the 3rd horse we bailed from the Bastrop, LA kill pen. Her video from the auction lot showed a very sweet and gentle mare that needed a home. I have always loved paints, and fell for her right away. She came to us incredibly underweight, but otherwise ok. Unlike King & Gracie, Lexi stepped off the trailer and wanted to be bestfriends immediately. She followed us everywhere, clearly very confused and anxious about where she was. Once she met Sven, the two of them bonded right away and she was able to calm down. The vet put her at age 18, but with no real major issues. As soon as were given the go ahead, we started re-training her under saddle. She rides like a dream and is the absolute sweetest horse we have. She is a true unicorn, and we're so glad to have found her when we did.
Then & Now
Heart is a 18 year old Standardbred mare. She was originally bailed by a different rescue, at the same that we had bailed Lexi. We work together with that rescue to help combine shipping efforts, so her and Lexi were on the same trailer to Boston from Bastrop, LA. She had stayed at the rescue for a couple months, but no ne was interested in giving her a forever home. She is blind in one eye, and she also suffers from cellulitis as a result of an injury that was never treated. Due to these factors she had no interest, so I agreed to foster her and continue our search for the perfect home for her. She has been with us now for about 5 months and is a very sweet old lady. We are still searching for her perfect forever home.
Then & Now
Hope was one of our hardest rescues. She came to us named "Gypsy" at the end of February 2021. The picture from her kill pen photo showed a fat healthy Percheron, but that is not what arrived to us. We waited anxiously for 2 weeks for her to arrive from the South. She stepped off the trailer and immediately fell down and could not get up. She was skin and bones, she was shaking from head to toe, she was weak and scared and could not get up on her own. It took us a team of people and several hours, but we were able to flip her over and get her up. This would happen several times over the course of her time with us. Every morning, I didn't know what I would find. For this reason we switched her name to "Hope" because she needed so much in order to make it, from everyone around her. I dreaded that walk, and quite often I would find her down. I had to force her up, begging her to just hold out a little longer. In the meantime, our vet had been performing several different blood tests on her to see if we could find the cause for her weakness. We eventually discovered that she was Vitamin E deficient, a common issue in draft horses. She was also diagnosed with "PSSM" which contributed to her muscle weakness We started immediately supplementing her with high doses of Vitamin E, as well as anti-inflammatory's for her pain. Within about a month we saw drastic changes in her, I stopped finding her stuck on the ground and she started to finally gain weight. Hope lived pain free and happy with us for one full year before she lost her battle. We loved her dearly and we miss her everyday. Forever in our hearts "Big Lady".
Then & Now
Gordon came to us from a kill pen in North Carolina. A friend of ours had been picking up other horses from this lot and noticed this adorable little donkey looking sad and in need of a home. They called and said "please help" so we agreed to bail him. Gordon arrived sick, as donkeys often are in kill pens. He had a fever and some intestinal issues and was generally not interested in food. He was given wormers, antibiotics and electrolytes for a month. After which he was amazing! He was shy, but so very sweet and lovable. Though some of our horses are with us for retirement and forever sanctuary, Gordon was only 4 years old and still had plenty of life left to live. For this reason we decided to place him in a home with another little donkey. This would be the best choice for him, as horses don't always enjoy them. We found an amazing family with another mini donkey, just his size, and they loved him instantly. He is now in his forever home and very well loved.
Then & Now
Arien came to us in June of 2021. We pulled her from a kill pen in Arkansas. She was in the "direct ship" lot, which means she didn't have much time left, and had no interest. We bailed her with about an hour to spare, to keep her off the truck headed for Mexico.
The first picture you see is how she looked when she arrived, completely lost and dejected. But she was a sweetheart and she wanted so badly to be loved. She quickly made friends with Lexi and Sven, and thanks to this, she had a family again. This helped to bring the shine back in to her eyes.
Unfortunately, she was only with us for 6 short weeks. We found her in severe abdominal distress (aka: colic) early one morning. Our vet tried for several hours to save her, and we did everything we could, but she was still suffering and in a great deal of pain. We made the decision together to end her suffering and help her cross the rainbow bridge. She died peacefully in my arms, while I told her how loved she was. While I know we saved her from an ending that would have been much worse, losing her has been one of the darkest days since we opened the rescue. I imagine there will be many more days like this in the future, and many hard calls that will need to be made. But I don't imagine it will ever get any easier. If only we had found her sooner, maybe the outcome would have been different. We love and miss you Arien, my sunshine, and we hope you are somewhere running wild and free.
Then & Now
Lena arrived to us on September 9th, 2021. She arrived skinny and completely terrified. We bailed her from a kill pen in Arkansas. As you can see, she was marked for slaughter and was headed out on the next truck. As with the rest of them, we have little information on her previous life. We were told she was around 2, but after examining her the vet has put her at only 1! Just a baby! According to her paperwork she spent the first half of her little life in a kill pen. Thankfully, she came around quick and realized she was safe with us. She has become the friendliest, most adorable, little pony. We are so glad that she is with us. Since she is still so young she will stay with us until she, is ready for, and has completed training. For now she gets to just be a baby learning about horse life with her friends, just as she should.
Then & Now
Moon was rescued from a kill pen in Louisiana by a friend of ours in the winter of 2020. He spent about a year with her, unfortunately her life circumstances changed and we were asked to take him in. We had him properly examined and x-rayed to determine if he was physically ready for the training that he required. We were very happy to learn that he passed these tests and could find a forever home. He is currently fostering with a wonderful family and has been living a very happy life with them. He will begin training in the Spring, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for this guy!
Then & Now
Wicket originally came from an auction in PA. He was rescued by a different rescue but no one was interested in adopting him. Unlike most horses who find themselves at auction starved and neglected, he came to us in very good health. No physical rehabilitation was necessary for him, however he is very nervous around new people and requires training. We are excited to start working with him! (He will not be available for adoption at any point, he will be staying at Little Bear Stables, Inc.)
Then & Now
A wonderful woman who follows our page contacted us and offered to sponsor a rescue for Christmas. We discovered Donner, extremely neglected and near death, ready to ship for slaughter to Canada out of the Shippensburg, PA kill pen. Our sponsor decided that he would be the one we should save. He arrived to us in December of 2021, two weeks before Christmas and was therefore named Donner. He was the skinniest horse we have ever taken in, and quite frankly one of the skinniest I've ever seen. In addition he had an infected, open abscess that needed medical attention. He would not have survived much longer in this condition. We started him immediately on antibiotics and a slow re-feeding program. We were very lucky that he still had the desire to fight. Within two weeks he was gaining weight and excited to leave his stall. He has been with us now for about 6 months. We still have a ways to go with his recovery, he still needs to gain weight and rebuild lost muscle. With horses as skinny as he was the re-feeding is a slow process, for their safety. He is just the sweetest boy, and we are so lucky we found him when we did. Though we originally hoped to find a loving home for him, we discovered that he is a very old man, 30+, and we decided he would stay with us for retirement.
Phinny Aka: Phinneas came to us in the Spring of 2022. He was originally rescued from a kill pen by a wonderful family who lives in MA. He lived with them for 2 years and they completed most of his rehabilitation. Unfortunately they had a major life change and surrendered him to us. Based on Phinn's tattoo we were able to learn some information about his previous life. He is only 9 and was destined to be a high class race horse. We are not sure how but somehow he ended up at an Amish farm, where he was severely overworked. Unfortunately it was discovered that Phinn suffers from "sidewinders syndrome" which was never treated. This is described as a mild neurological issue that affects his balance and mobility. Because of this he can not be ridden. He is not in any pain as of now, and can easily get up and down on his own. When we examine their "quality of life" this is one of the biggest determining factors. Someday this disease will advance and he will struggle with movement. At that point we will make the decision, with the help of our vet, to end his suffering. In the meantime, he gets all the love and spoiling that he deserves.