We have some WONDERFUL news to share about our girl Poppy! Before we get to the news, we'd like to take a moment to share her heartfelt story.
Poppy was relinquished to Casey’s on 7/31/18. The former owners had purchased her for their daughter to barrel race. When purchased, Poppy was already blind in one eye. Later, she had an injury in the other eye, and as a result, started to go blind in that eye as well and eventually discomfort.
When Poppy first arrived at Casey's, she was so sadly frightened for so many reasons. Moving a horse that is almost entirely blind can be terrifying and dangerous for the frightened horse. We were told that she was living outside and this would be reason enough for a blind horse to be on guard all of the time. At the beginning of her time at Casey's, she was hyper and frantic over everything we did with her- she was stuck in a flight-or-fight mode. It was difficult keeping her calm while walking her through gates and in and out of her stall. She was so unsure of her every step. At Casey's, her entire environment was new and unfamiliar. Through time, patience, and special guidance as she was walked, she started trusting Casey's people.
Meanwhile, both of Poppy's eyes were inflamed and tearing non-stop. With holistic care we were able to clear up all of the inflammation, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do to reverse her blindness. When it came to turning her out with other horses she was terrified and felt defenseless – understandably so. We decided to put her in with one of our young donkeys, Gabriel. Since he was smaller and absolutely no threat to her – it was instant connection and we saw her shed much of her fear and anxiousness! A huge step for Poppy and smiles everywhere at Casey's!
Within a couple of months, Poppy was a completely different horse. Every day she became calm and trusting and started craving attention from whomever she sensed or heard within "petting and loving" distance from her stall. No matter what she was doing, there she was at her stall door ready to greet her newest friend! It was clear to us that she recognized voices and couldn't wait to say hi- she loved everyone and everyone loved her! And to top it off, she was a perfect lady for the vet, farrier, and volunteers! She was happy in her little herd with Gabriel, but slowly she was losing all of her sight. We could also tell that in addition to going completely blind, she was very uncomfortable.
Trying to find the right home for a blind horse is a true challenge. There were some inquiries regarding adoption, but they were not the right fit. Over the next year, we had tried to treat her “good eye” but there was no putting meds in Poppy's eye! Poppy would have none of it and turned into a tornado when we tried. We stopped trying because she or someone could get hurt. Our solution was to medicate around her eyes. We knew this was a losing battle, but at least we could keep her comfortable as long as possible. Eventually all of her vision was gone and her eyes again started to swell and it was clear she was uncomfortable and even became depressed with her head in the corner of her stall instead of greeting everyone. We had our vet out and a volunteer graciously donated to cover a second opinion by an ophthalmologist. Both agreed Poppy was 100% blind and her world was black. Our vet suggested removing her eyes which Sue agreed with, but the ophthalmologist suggested injecting her eyes to shrink them. Our vet agreed and she injected Poppy's eyes. It did seem to make her more comfortable until she bumped one eye and it was inflamed again. All involved decided to remove both eyes so she wouldn’t have to keep going through this process over and over. We were blessed that our vet, Dr. Golden, agreed to come to the barn and perform the procedure in the comfort of her stall. No traveling to a strange new place, no strange stall, no strange people and turnout. Her surgeries were done from the comfort of her home at Casey's. In January, we removed the first eye and in March we removed the second eye. It didn’t change a thing for Poppy except that she has no more pain. She soon reverted to her happy self and sleeps more soundly (she actually snores louder now!).
For her surgeries, we had a bountiful of wonderful supporters who donated money and we also used some of our Grant money from the Doris Day Foundation for her surgeries. And, she had one very special volunteer who had been caring for her, watched over her, loved her to pieces and donated to her surgeries and the needed second opinion – Kameron.
We are over the top thrilled to announce that as of May 1st, Poppy has found her Forever Home with Kameron! Poppy will remain at Casey’s (now as a boarder) with her equine family. The volunteers and everyone at Casey's continue to love on Poppy who is a very special equine, but it takes a very special person to take on the life-long responsibilities of a horse without vision. We are so very happy for both Poppy and Kameron
We have some wonderful news to start off the new year!
One of our special volunteers, Dauma, officially adopted sweet Mozart! Dauma had an immediate connection to Mozart and has been spending a lot of time with him. (And it’s quite apparent the feeling was mutual!) Mozart came to Casey’s on September 11th and we were told he had EPM. At the time, he was crippled and could barely walk. He has improved dramatically with the help of our great farrier and vet, good nutrition, a special blend of essential oils and herbs from BT Naturals, laser work, chiropractic work, energy work, and best of all, Love. Mozart is a sweet loving soul and appreciates that he is feeling so much better! We are so incredibly happy for both Mozart and Dauma - and know you will enjoy your new journey together!
We have HAPPY news to announce!
As of July 1st, 2020 Beauty was officially adopted by our wonderful volunteer, Sue S! Sue has always had a soft spot for Beauty and would often come to groom her and spend time with her. Sue has been sponsoring Beauty for over a year now as well. Sue is retiring very soon and says that this moment is “a lifelong dream come true” for her. Beauty has had a long journey to get to this moment as well and our hearts are full to know that she has, at long last, found her Forever Person. We are so incredibly happy for both Beauty and Sue!
We are so thrilled to announce that our sweet Honey has found her Forever Home! Honey has been adopted by Audrey who is one of our wonderful volunteers. On her first meeting with Honey, there was definitely an instant connection. Honey is Audrey’s first horse and she connected with the perfect teacher who will show her the ropes. We are so thrilled for both of them! Honey has had quite a journey in her life and we are so grateful she found her way to us, her way back to health, her way back to happiness, and her way to a wonderful new loving Forever Home.
Gabriel was saved from the slaughter yard in Texas by our own Barb James when he was only 6 months old. He is an absolute sweetheart and has won the hearts of everyone that meets him. He had a difficult time in the beginning coming into the barn after being out all day. We can only think that he had never been in a barn. He has since learned the safety and warmth of the barn and his issues have passed.
It also took him almost a year to learn how to be a “donkey.” He was so quiet and when you would walk up to him, he would put his head in your chest and “purr.” He found his voice and uses it although he will never out-bray Petunia!
After Barb’s passing, Gabriel became part of Casey’s. We recently received an email from a potential adopter looking for a donkey pet/protector for their mini horse and two small goats. The potential adopters came out and met Gabriel and they all fell in love. Sue went out to check out his possible home and all went wonderfully. We all want him to have his own mom and dad, but we will miss him terribly here at Casey's
On Easter of 2018, Tiny Dancer came to Casey’s Safe Haven after being relinquished by an elderly couple who had gotten in over their heads trying to care for three equines. They had good intentions, but unfortunately were not aware of what it takes to keep an equine healthy and happy. When this precious 13-year-old little mini horse came to us she was frightened of human contact, had a very heavy burr-filled mane and tail and needed proper hoof care and nutrition. After proper care and handling, Tiny Dancer soon bounced back and lived up to her name as she was often spotted zooming around the pasture feeling great! On Mother’s Day of 2018, this darling little girl was officially adopted by Lorraine S. of Wheaton!
Initially, Dancer was all set to go to one of our Foster Homes but needed to come to Casey’s rescue barn temporarily as her foster parents were out of town. Her foster parents were so excited about her coming and told everyone that would listen! One of their friends, Lorraine, said it was a longtime dream of hers to have a mini to pamper and love. Well, Lorraine and her hubby came out to greet Dancer and instantly fell in love with this cutie pie full of personality! Before it became official, Lorraine returned to Casey’s to work with us and with Dancer. We needed to make sure Dancer wanted to go with Lorraine as well. Every equine gives us an unquestionable sign when they pick their person and Dancer was no exception. Dancer has found her Forever Home and we are so happy for both Dancer and Lorraine - once again – dreams really do come true!
We have the best news about Wildfire! She has officially been adopted by our dear Jeri who is one of our Foster Moms! Jeri has renamed her to “Mystic Warrior” and is calling her “Misty” for short.
Jeri has been a wonderful Foster Mom to rescue ponies Beau, Sierra, Comanche & Kota (who have since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge) and now Tigger. She also adopted sweet little Charlie Bear pony a couple years ago. So, Jeri has been and is a big part of our family. Jeri has been in love with Wildfire (now Misty) since she first laid eyes on her and Misty is crazy about Jeri! And don’t let the gray hair fool you! Jeri plans to ride Misty. Misty will continue to live at Casey’s and Momma Sue will help Jeri with riding instruction.
We are so very happy for these two inspiring souls! Congratulations!
Blackjack came into the rescue in 2014 and was being leased by someone who loved him dearly. For reasons beyond their control they could no longer lease him. One of our volunteers, Christine W, was working with Blackjack and they both found a wonderful connection! In the summer of 2018, Christine adopted BlackJack and has been taking excellent care of his health issues and spending a lot of time grooming and loving him. It is quite clear how happy both of them are! It takes a special person to take on a horse with health issues that cannot be ridden, yet want to take great care of them for the rest of their lives! We wish them many years of happiness and companionship together!
We are thrilled to share with you that Bubbles has found her Forever Home this past year and is living the good life with her new best equine friend, Hillary. Bubbles was rescued from a kill-pen by our co-founder, Barb, whom we know is smiling down from heaven seeing that Bubbles has found such a wonderful Forever Home. Thank you to our longtime volunteer, Chris K, for helping Bubbles to find her happy new home with Martina and Dick. And thank you, Martina and Dick, for taking a special needs rescue horse and giving her a great life with her new buddy, Hillary! We are so happy for all!
When sweet Sir Lancelot came to Casey’s Safe Haven, he had been sitting in a stall for 5-6 years. He did not see the light of day nor had he been able to spend time in a pasture just being a horse.
When we first took Lance outside it was stimulation overload. All he was used to seeing was the inside of a stall - no windows, no sunshine, no green grass. He was leery of everything. After a month, we were finally able to turn him out in a small paddock, but he just stood in one place. He just didn’t know what a horse was supposed to do. He loved being next to the ponies, after all they were so small that he felt comfortable with them - so he just stood next to the fence by them. He never wanted to go into the middle of the pasture or get too far from the barn as that was all he knew. He slowly started venturing into the larger pastures and started to relearn on being a Horse!
Sometimes the Universe aligns and something wonderful happens that is- without a doubt- so Right and Meant-to-Be. We are so very pleased to announce that our dear Sir Lancelot has officially been adopted by long-time Casey's volunteer, Bridget, and her husband, Brian!
Bridget has volunteered with Casey's Safe Haven since we opened our barn doors in 2012. Bridget came out to volunteer on December 26th, met Lance, and fell in love! They have a true connection. And during that first meeting, it was clear that Lance chose his Forever Person too!
Lance has picked Bridget and Brian his his Forever Family. And Bridget and Brian have adopted their Forever Horse who they will love and care for his entire life. It doesn’t get any better than this! We are so very happy for all!
Our sweet boy now has his very own Forever Momma and Forever Home. His Foster Mom, Jeri, is officially a "foster failure" - she adopted Charlie and all of us at Casey's Safe Haven could not be happier for both of them!
Charlie was rescued by Casey's Safe Haven in June of 2011 and had been our longest staying "guest". Charlie spent over 20 years of his life "working the wheel". He arrived to Casey's very thin and terrified of every little movement around him. After a year of good food, proper care, a consistent routine, plenty of patience, and being treated with love and respect - Charlie turned a corner. He has since made even greater strides with the help of many people at Casey's and his special human buddy, Ryan. And now Charlie has his very own Forever Momma to love him, take care of him every day and tuck him in with a kiss every night. We are over-the-moon happy for you Charlie Bear and Jeri!
People helping HORSES helping People
Casey's Physical Address: 8N005 IL Rte 47, Maple Park, IL 60151 | Casey's Mailing Address: PO Box 103, Elburn, IL 60119 | Registered Illinois Horse Rescue License #14155 | Approved Illinois Charitable Organization Tax-Exempt 501(c) 3 Organization | Internal Revenue Service File #45-2865627 www.caseyssafehaven.org | email@example.com | 815-762-1983
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