ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - We learned over the weekend that a horse and burro in Limestone County had been rescued from a slow but certain death. Neither animal, we're told, had been properly fed since sometime in late September. Now, both animals have a new home and are getting the care that they need.
The horse's name is Lucky. His new owner named him that because he says Lucky is lucky to be alive. Michael Blakely (not related to Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely) says Lucky had probably not had very good care to begin with. But when his owner went to jail in September, the care and feeding essentially stopped. On Friday, when Blakely was finally able to make arrangements to get Lucky, and a little burro in the field with him, he says the horse was barely able to walk.
"He's done lost down, we estimated his weight at 896 lbs. He should be about a 1,200 to 1,300 pound horse," said Blakely.
He has lost so much body mass you can clearly see his hip bones pushing up.
"You can count every rib in his body," said Blakely as he rubbed the animal.
We checked with the sheriff's office and they verified the story. The animals have been signed over to Blakely and after just a few days of special foods and fresh water, Lucky seems to be living up to his name. He's only bothered now when he can't look around and see his little friend, the burro. The two of them shared what is described as a horrible experience, but that's over. They have a home now and a family who will care for them.
"He'll be well taken care of. Between me and Dusty and Gayle and everybody here, he'll be well taken care of," promised Blakely.
Just a few days ago, Blakely said he wouldn't have given Lucky more than about a 50-50 chance of survival. But in the last few days, with the right kind of food and care, he's begun to come around some and his chances are looking a lot better now.
The burro's name, by the way, is Donk. The two of them will need months of special care and feeding, but they're both responding well to their new home.