TAVARES — She may be called Diablo, but it was the work of angels that helped save the life of a sorrel Quarter Horse that became deathly ill on March 6.
The chestnut and white mare suffered a bout of colic while at the Lake County Animal Services shelter. Colic is a severe abdominal issue affecting 10 percent of horses, often proving fatal.
Animal Services Division Manager Cyndi Nason directed staff to contact several rescue organizations to see if one could pick up Diablo immediately and take her for emergency equine veterinary treatment.
Tia Albert of Howey Horse Haven arrived to the shelter after closing time and along with Animal Services staff member Melanie Ellixson, began treating the mare with Metamucil and oil to clear its gut. Next, neighbors Mary and Charles Poillon jumped in and offered to transport Diablo to the rescue facility, where Albert could treat her round-the-clock.
“Due to the care our staff, volunteers and rescue partners provided for Diablo through the night, she is out of the woods and now healthy,” said Brian Sheahan, director of Lake County’s Department of Community Safety & Compliance. “It was the efforts of so many people willing to help that saved the horse’s life.”
Diablo, now known as “No Name," is on a strict diet of soft grains, alfalfa and beet pulp at Howey Horse Haven. The rescue is holding a “Name a Horse, Save a Life” contest for her, with names being accepted at $1 each.
After extensive health and temperament testing, the rescue will be placing the mare up for adoption.
“She’s absolutely adorably sweet,” said Albert. “She is a cute little spunky thing. She’s one of the best horses I’ve had in a long time.”
To find out more about Lake County Animal Services, or to donate funds to help with operations at the shelter, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/adopt, visit the shelter at 28123 County Road 561, Tavares, or call 352-343-9688. For information on naming the horse, visit www.howeyhorsehaven.org/.