In May of 2017, Helping Horses Alabama, an equine rescue organization in Birmingham, located a severely injured mini horse roaming free along a rural highway. They brought him to the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine where it was discovered that he had suffered traumatic amputation of his left hind limb. The horse who would come to be known as Pogo and two other minis were attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Pogo was the only survivor.
The poor little pony had been surviving on his own for several months with a horrific leg wound that had cost him his left rear hoof. When HHA found him, Pogo was hobbling on three legs and in extremely poor condition. Shelley Jones, the executive director of Helping Horses Alabama told The Auburn Newsroom:
“He was essentially wild and had apparently been running loose for a long time, was filthy, malnourished, and overall, in very bad shape.”
Jones and her fellow rescuers first believed that Pogo would have to be euthanized due to the severity of his injuries, but when they saw the determination and strength of spirit the mini possessed, they vowed not to give up on him.
“I have never seen a horse fight so hard for its life,” Jones said. “He apparently has a purpose and a reason for being alive.”
Pogo’s official diagnosis was “traumatic amputation of the left hind limb from his fetlock down to his hoof,” said Dr. Lindsey Boone, an assistant clinical professor and an equine surgeon in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine.
The dog attack had left him with exposed bone requiring surgery to prepare the limb for a prosthetic. After about a month of recovery and practice with a temporary prosthesis, Pogo was fitted with his permanent, custom limb in July. Auburn’s Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation Service is currently helping him to adjust to his new leg.
But this super pony’s super story doesn’t end there!
Helping Horses of Alabama plans to train Pogo as a therapy animal once he is fully recovered and rehabilitated.
“We think he will make an excellent therapy animal and that he can do a lot to help people who have undergone limb amputations,” Jones said. “He will not be a pet. He has a much larger mission than that.”
H/T to The Auburn Newsroom
Featured Image via Facebook/Helping Horses Alabama