For years Anna lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills, owned by a woman who ran a successful horse business. The infirmities of age began to take a toll on Anna's owner, and the care of the horses began to decline. Her last nine horses were ignored and neglected.
In February of 2009, Redwings received a letter from two women who had discovered the horses in terrible condition and were trying to help the owner find placements for the horses. Fortunately, the owner of the horses agreed that she needed help arranging new homes for the horses. What the women described in their letter to Redwings was heart-wrenching.
There was only one hay bale on the premises to feed nine horses. Four horses were stallions, all living in stalls filled with mud and feces. The other five were mares, three of which were living together in a pasture. The last two mares were located in makeshift pens, held together with wooden boards and bailing twine, where they stood in their feces and mud. One of these mares was Anna.
Anna's eyes had large amounts of discharge, and the flies were crawling all over her face and eyes. It soon became apparent that Anna was utterly blind. Anna's hooves were overgrown and full of thrush. The women feared that if they did not get Anna moved to dry ground quickly and arranged for hoof care, she would soon be unable to stand.
The mare's future looked a little brighter when a home was found for Anna and her companion. Unfortunately, when the horses arrived, it was not exactly the home they had envisioned. The pasture had rusty barbed wire lying all over the ground, and there was no kind of shelter. Soon after they moved, Anna's friend died, leaving Anna alone.
The women worried that Anna would soon suffer the same fate and acted quickly. They contacted Redwings to see if we could offer Anna a home at our Sanctuary. Redwings agreed, and Anna finally had a permanent, safe place to call home. Redwings could not take Anna right away, so Anna was moved to Plymouth, California, where she stayed in the care of Dr. Garfinkle of At Farm Veterinary Services. There she received all the veterinary care and some much-needed TLC. Anna stayed at the veterinary clinic for almost one month.
Then in April of 2009, a very kind volunteer took Anna on the 6-hour trailer ride to her forever home at Redwings' Lockwood Sanctuary. Anna settled in quickly and instantly became a ranch favorite. Her gentle and calm nature made her easy to work with, even with her disability. But there was still another obstacle for Anna to overcome.
Once at the Sanctuary, it became apparent that Anna's right eye caused her discomfort. Her right eye seemed to have discharge and required daily care constantly. She developed ulcers on the cornea of her eye, which were very painful for Anna. In May of 2009, the Redwings team and Vets at Estrella Equine Hospital agreed that Anna's eye needed to be removed to improve Anna's comfort and quality of life. On May 18, 2009, Anna made a trip to Estrella Equine Hospital in Paso Robles to have surgery. The surgery was a success, and Anna healed very quickly. Since she was already blind, there was no adjustment period. Anna had no trouble recovering from the surgery.
Today Anna remains a ranch favorite. Since she is so gentle and quiet to work with, she is often used for education when groups come out to the Sanctuary. She enjoys her daily turnout in her grassy paddock.