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November 9, 2017

Maryland Horse Rescue Vows “No Horse Left Behind!”

By Lisa Gregory

Carroll County Times

Mount Airy, MD (AP) - Athena, a pony, stood in the back of her stall trembling and refusing all human touch.

``My daughter went into her stall one day and just sat on a bucket reading a book. She didn’t approach Athena but wanted to see if Athena would come to her,’’ recalled Melanie Biemiller, executive director of the Maryland Horse Rescue.

The freckled-face pony was curious but cautious.

``She would sniff and then back up,’’ said Biemiller. ``My daughter decided to reach up gently and try to touch her, and she busted through the stall doors and tore up her legs. She was that terrified of human touch.’’

Some horses at the Rescue

Athena is one of the many horses that have come to the Maryland Horse Rescue in Mount Airy, which was formerly known as HorseNet. The organization rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes abused and abandoned horses, specializing in elderly and blind horses. And in a story very typical of the horses there, Athena, who was taken in by the rescue six years ago, came from a hoarding and starvation situation with 40-some horses removed.

``We were (initially) unable to make much breakthrough with her,’’ said Biemiller. ``She did become more comfortable around us, but she just didn’t want you to touch her. She was beyond what we could do for her.’’
But the rescue was not giving up on Athena. That’s when one of their volunteers stepped in.

``This lady just had a soft spot in her heart, and she paid to send Athena away for specialized training for six months,’’ said Biemiller.

It worked. Athena came back ``a more confident, though still shy, little pony,’’ said Biemiller.

And one who would eventually find a home and a family of her own.

The Johanson family began volunteering at the rescue the first of the year. They had just moved from Gaithersburg to the area and 12-year-old daughter Charlotte was struggling with the changes of a new home and new school.

``I really felt like playing to Charlotte’s passion for horses would be good for her,’’ said Sarah Johanson, her mother.

Then they took their involvement with the horses one step further. The family decided to adopt Athena and another pony. Since then, Charlotte and Athena have developed quite the bond.

``They found each other when they both needed each other the most,’’ said Johanson. And the frightened pony who would panic at human touch now not only lets Charlotte feed her by hand but the two are also taking riding lessons.

``So often horses are used and then cast aside when they are no longer useful due to lameness, blindness or a diagnosis of a difficult condition,’’ said Johanson. ``These animals deserve a life of respect, safety and peace just like all other creatures. It is so gratifying to be a part of that.’’

Since its beginning in 2000 the Maryland Horse Rescue has found homes for more than 100 horses. Currently, they have 37 horses, including ridable and nonridable/companion horses.

``We accept horses in any condition,’’ said Biemiller. Even with the possibility that they may be forever residents. In fact, the motto of the rescue is No Horse Left Behind.

The nonprofit organization is completely run by volunteers and operates solely on donations.

``Our volunteers range from 5 to 75 years old,’’ said Biemiller. And the rescue is always looking for new volunteers, she added. And donations.

``We rely strictly on the generosity of the community,’’ said Biemiller. ``We are not sponsored by any business or the government or any foundations or anything like that.’’

And while there are indeed some forever residents, other horses can be adopted or fostered. For those that foster horses on a permanent basis, said Beimiller, the expenses related to the care of the foster horses are tax deductible.

There is also the sponsorship program. For a monthly fee ``someone who really wants a horse and can’t have one, can sponsor one,’’ said Biemiller. The program allows for visits with the horse and may even include hands-on experience with the rescue’s education and training coordinator, according to Biemiller.

Biemiller is passionate about her work but wishes it wasn’t necessary. ``My ideal number to have here honestly would be zero. That people would take care of their animals and do right by them,’’ she said.

Instead she is committed to doing all she can for those horses that are old or blind or mistreated or just no longer wanted. In fact, the rescue has a whole herd of blind horses, including a former Amish buggy horse.

Vision problems are common in horses, according to Biemiller, often requiring the removal of the eyeball to eliminate serious pain. ``Most people would put them down because they are considered useless. They are not,’’ she said. ``Here we can offer them a life of dignity and unconditional love.’’

Tucker & BJ, at the Rescue

The rescue is a no-kill shelter, only euthanizing a horse when there is suffering and no hope for recovery. In those situations, said Biemiller, a veterinarian evaluates the horse and confirms when euthanasia is best. ``Those are the hardest days,’’ said Biemiller.

The care of the horses can be challenging, especially financially. ``The number constantly changes, but I would say for us to comfortably operate with just the basics, such as rent, insurance, food, medications, vet care and farrier work, we need to bring in about $150,000 a year. We bring in less than half of that.’’

And given that the rescue has special needs horses, more money is spent on such items as specialized chopped forage.

``Some of these horses can’t eat long stem hay, so we have to buy the bagged forage. It’s $20 a bag. We pay about $525 a week just in grain and forage,’’ she said. Volunteers will often donate food or other supplies. And an equine dentist and equine ophthalmologist have also donated their services.

Despite the challenges though Biemiller says it is well worth it.

``I love these animals,’’ she said. ``They absolutely amaze me.’’

Animals like Helen, a sweetly cantankerous one-eyed donkey who spent much of her life pulling a fruit and vegetable cart in Baltimore City.

``We like to joke that if Helen was human she would be an 80-year-old woman who smokes cigars and drinks bourbon, and cusses like a sailor,’’ laughed Biemiller. People wondered why we spent so much money on trying to cure Helen’s eye and then the eye removal,’’ continued Biemiller. ``Why? Because she deserves a life. She’s Helen. She’s fabulous. And she’s worth everything we can do.’’
Said Kylie Ayers, who has volunteered at the rescue for nearly three years, ``This is a special place.’’

Ayers, now 18, lost her grandfather at the age of 12. ``He was like a father to me,’’ she said.

Soon after she became anxious and depressed.

``I struggled,’’ she said. ``I would stay in bed all the time and didn’t want to do anything. I would cry at everything.’’

She began working at the rescue at the suggestion of the therapist she was seeing at the time.

``I just love being around the horses,’’ she said, adding that she finds comfort and solace among them and is inspired by them as well. ``Most of these horses come from abusive situations where they weren’t fed, didn’t have water, no shelter. Yet they are so forgiving. It’s just a lot of love.’’

Athena’s new family, the Johansons, couldn’t agree more.

``These beautiful creatures do so much for people,’’ said Sarah Johanson. ``We owe them in return.’’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Man Gently Works To Reverse Die-Off Of Honey Bees, Mad Men Style Drinking Cars Closing Down On Metro North, Oregon’s Gray Wolf, OR-7, May Have Found A Sweetie

Two Weeks In The Civil War: Overland Campaign & Sherman, Archaeologist Claims He’s Found King David’s Citadel, Blood Of Young Mice Helped Older Mice - Are We Next?!

Bees Are Disappearing, But Gardeners Can Help, Freed After 24 Years In Prison, Man Knows ‘God Has A Plan’, Yeah, It’s True. The Dude Has Had His Own Festival For Years

This Week In The Civil War: Fighting in Arkansas, Most Americans Still Question The Big Bang Theory, ‘What Would Abbie Think?’ Radical’s Presence Felt Today

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates Take Plymouth, Study Reveals Snacks May Help Avoid Marital Arguments, It’s Probably Just A Matter Of Time: 3D-Printed Heart

Descendants Of Civil War Battle Of New Market Sought By VMI, This Week In The Civil War: Raid On Fort Pillow, TN, 1964 World’s Fair Site Will Cost Millions To Restore

This Week In The Civil War: The Red River Campaign, 11 Ancient Burial Boxes Seized From Thieves, Music Program Puts Alzheimer’s Patients Back In Tune For A Bit

Noah, Opening Friday, Swirls Into A Strong Faith Market, Spring Time Is Puppy Time! How To Puppy-ize Your Life, This Week In The Civil War, Historically Vital Photos Of SC Slave Descendants New Home

Ethyl The Grizzly Loves Travel And Apple Orchards

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson’s Latest Is A Hit, This Week In The Civil War: Slaves Freed In Louisiana, Peerless Card Shark & Magician Richard Turner Is Totally Blind, The Debate Continues On Safety & Impact, But Vaping Is Gaining Acceptance & Growing

This Week In The Civil War: U.S. Grant Takes Charge, The Hard Part Is Digging The Hole: Backyard Pond Tips

Researchers Find Mexico’s Endangered ‘Water Monster’, This Week In The Civil War: Confederate Submarine, Bumblebees Are Getting Stung By Honeybee Sickness, New Exhibit Features Telegram From Elvis To His Parents

Hasty Dig At Camp Asylum, SC: The Developer’s Coming!, Backyard Bird Counters Reveal Snowy Owl Migration, Surgeon Who Invented Heimlich Maneuver: Remember It!

Saving The World’s Great Art: The Real Monuments Men, This Week In The Civil War: Sherman In Mississippi, Folkies Recall Opening For The Beatles At Carnegie Hall In ‘64

Hoffman’s Relapse & Death Is A Tragic, Common Outcome, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting At Morton’s Ford, VA, ‘Jar Nut’s’ Collection Of Bottles Is On Display In Spencer, NC

Monuments Men: 1,000 Years Of Culture Saved From Nazis, This Week In The Civil War: The Union Campaign, Film & Museum Reveal More Realistic View Of Bonnie & Clyde, IRS Is Working To Save Tax Payers Money Through EITC

2013 Was 4th Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA, This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26, Germans’ Longing For American West Births Documentary Play, What Do Fish Poo, Fresh Berries & School Kids Have In Common?

Making Of Lone Survivor Challenging & Controversial, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, Archaeologist Seeks WWII DNA From Pacific Graveyards, Handyman Program’s ‘Angels’ Help Keep Seniors At Home

This Week In The Civil War, Originals Of The Star-Spangled Banner & Flag To Be Displayed, Our Universe At Its Infancy: Images From Hubble Telescope, 100 Years Later, The British Still Debate WWI’s Legacy

Music Therapy Organization Helps Vets Cope With PTSD, This Week In The Civil War: Winter Furloughs, Rare 1886 Michigan Lighthouse For Sale, Concern For Elves Prompts Iceland To Halt Roadway

This Week In The Civil War, New Survey Reveals US Dads Very Involved In Child Rearing, Dolphin Center Offers Course In Marine Mammal Care

Papers Stolen During Civil War Going Home To Virginia, New Vero Beach Dig: Ice Age Humans In North American?

This Week In The Civil War: Lincoln’s Restoration Plan, Oldest DNA By 100,000 Years Throws Science Into A New Era, Bird Lovers Seek Respect For Sweet Birds: Iowa Blue Chickens

Police Still Seeking Clues To TV Star’s 1957 Murder, Scrawny Stray Cat Becomes Media Star: Pete The Cat

Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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