Two Hearts Broken, Now Made Whole

At just two days old, little Owen became an orphaned foal. This wobbly-kneed Appaloosa was heartbroken when he called out for his mother, and she did not respond.

Being without a mother is extremely hard on little foals. Without proper nutrition and the love their mother provides, their future is often bleak. But Owen was one of the lucky ones: he was rescued by the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS).

KHS provides round-the-clock care to Owen and other orphaned foals they’ve rescued this spring. At the KHS Rescue Barn, Owen immediately became the barn greeter with his vocalizations and larger-than-life personality. Even at such a young age, Owen bounced around, filling up every bit of space he possibly could. He became best buddies with another orphaned foal that KHS rescued; the two were inseparable, and even drank milk replacer from the same bucket together.

But foals without their mothers at this age are very fragile. Sadly, Owen’s friend became ill, and KHS rushed her to a veterinary hospital where she is currently recovering.

Without his buddy, Owen’s gregarious personality began to fade, and he lost his appetite. His little heart had been broken not once, but twice in a matter of weeks. He began to withdraw.

A few stalls away, Winnie nickered at Owen. His little ears perked up, and he called to her. Could she be his mother? he wondered.

Winnie had been rescued by KHS after she was found tied to a tree without access to food or water; this senior girl was extremely underweight and suffered from parasites, rain rot, and dental disease. It was clear she had been neglected for a long time. But with medical care, nutrition and love provided by the KHS staff, Winnie blossomed into a beautiful and sweet mare.

The staff had an idea: could Winnie accept Owen as her own? They carefully introduced the little foal to the senior mare. It was love at first sight! Winnie gave the little foal a gentle lick, and he snuggled up close to her.

While Owen must still be fed from a bucket, Winnie is providing Owen with the love and security he craved. Owen is again a confident, outgoing foal, and Winnie has found new purpose as a foster parent. Two hearts that had been broken have now been made whole.