Bites at Animal Planet


19 Jan

Unexpected Act of Kindness Leaves Animal Rescue Group Stunned

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Christian Cotroneo from

At no point is the warmth of human kindness needed more keenly than in winter.

Especially a Canadian winter.

During Ontario's recent cold snap, an animal refuge sent a plea to its supporters for a little bit of that warmth. Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary, in addition to the hundreds of dogs it saves every year, is also home to 70 horses.

The organization expected to receive enough donations to buy two or three blankets.

Instead, it found itself amid a stampede of human kindness.

Enough donations came in to buy a blanket for every single one of those 70 horses. The group even received extra blankets for newcomers.

The stunning outpouring of support prompted the group to write this on its Facebook page:

"Running a rescue can be exhausting at times, and it can be easy to feel alone, but your overwhelming support and encouragement stands as testament to the fact that we can achieve more when we work together."

Words to warm the soul.

Dog Tales, which sprawls across 50 acres of fields and woods in King City, Ontario, is home to scores of neglected and abused animals. Feel like giving them a hand? Visit its website for volunteer opportunities. Or make a donation!

It's the race we've been waiting for, Mike Smith on Zenyatta against Garrett Gomez riding Hysterical Lady. Who will prove to be the Champion Filly?

2 Jan

Cutest Horse Was Bred Just to be Thrown Away

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Ameena Schelling from

Chester shouldn't be alive.

The young foal was rescued in June after he was left to die at just 3 weeks old.

Like so many others, Chester was a product of what's known as a nurse mare. When prized mares give birth to young, their owners often want the new mothers to be bred again right away instead of spending time nursing.

So they impregnate another, less valuable mare to provide milk. That second mare's own baby — who was bred only so his mother would make milk — is then thrown out.

"They literally can leave them somewhere to starve, or it's as gruesome as banging them in the head with a hammer to kill the foal," Danielle Collins of Flying Change, an equine therapy group in Atlanta, Georgia, that provides a home to rescued and retired horses, told The Dodo. "It's actually a pretty violent death for the majority of them."

Chester was one of the lucky few to escape, and was rescued by MercyFoal, a program run by Flying Change that saves nurse mare foals and trains them to be used in equine therapy.

But his rough start in life has left its mark — and now he needs another miracle to survive.

Continue reading >

30 Dec

Horse Spent a Year in Hellish Halter, Rescue Came Just in Time

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Christian Cotroneo from

It was a big property for one horse. So big, in fact, that the people who owned the young mare apparently had a hard time catching her.

In fact, it may have taken a year for anyone to get their hands on the Denton County, Texas, horse — the horse someone left a halter on a long, long time ago.

By then, it was almost too late.

Warning: Mildly graphic image below

"From what we've been able to piece together, we think they left the halter on when they were trying to halter train her," Whitney Hanson of the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) tells The Dodo. "And then they were unable to catch her."

The horse, who would later be named AJ, was finally corralled on Christmas Eve — and immediately brought to Outlaw Equine Hospital in nearby Decatur for emergency treatment.

She had a gaping, infected wound across her nose where the halter had slowly, excruciatingly dug in. Rescuers estimate the halter had been on her for a year.

Having been surrendered to HSNT by her owner, AJ is following a precarious path to recovery, paved in plenty of antibiotics.

And, of course, a healthy dose of human contact.

Continue reading >

18 Dec

Horse Who Fell Into Deadly Pit Gets Rescued in Nick of Time

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Christian Cotroneo from

Of all the places for a horse to find himself alone, a sand-grinding pit on the edge of the Colombian jungle may rank among the most terrifying.

Somehow, this horse managed to fall into a ditch, where sand is made from water and ground stones — a sinking death trap for anyone caught inside.

And of all the people to come to his rescue? A machine-gun-toting detachment of Colombia's finest.

The officers were called to the rural town of Dagua in the Valle del Cauca region earlier this month, after the horse had fallen into these treacherous waters.

Continue reading >

15 Dec

Little Boy Donates His Savings for Horse About to Lose His Leg

(Guest post by Christian Cotroneo from

No one knows why Max took a bullet to the leg.

He was just hanging around his owner's house in the town of Acushnet, Massachusetts, like he's been doing ever since Julie Nightlinger adopted him nearly two years ago, when he was suddenly shot.

This seemingly random act of malice nearly cost the 2-year-old miniature horse his life.

That is, If not for hundreds more random acts — of kindness.

After being shot in early December — an incident local police are still investigating — Max needed an artificial leg desperately. His injured leg wasn't salvageable. The procedure was too costly for his owner, so she set up an online fundraising page.

The GoFundMe page has so far raised more than $12,000, at least enough for Max to get a new leg — and another fresh start at life.

Even Max's transportation from his home to the Myhre Equine Clinic in Rochester, New Hampshire, was thanks to a generous donation. The Animal Rescue League of Boston stepped up to pave the way.

Among the donors? A 5-year-old boy named Cole, who pledged his savings, along with a veritable horse's delight of apples and carrots, to help Max.

Continue reading >

14 Dec

Shetland Pony Dons Adorable Holiday Onesie

Just when you thought you had the perfect outfit for your ugly sweater party, the foursie rolled into town! This festive outfit was custom made by Ascot Racecourse in England for Daffy the Shetland pony to keep him warm this holiday season!

Daffy's owner, Jackie Rowberry, said“In winter I always worry about Daffy getting chilly as he likes to spend so much time out of his stable." And this is the perfect solution!

See another amazing pony here!

23 Nov

Love Transforms Sickly Horse

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Christian Cotroneo from

A skeletal horse stumbled down a country road in the dead of night.

She had fallen several times already, once into a nest of fire ants. Those bites burned all over her emaciated frame. When she fell again, it was into the arms of good Samaritans.

They had come across this nightmarish vision and called the local sheriff who, in turn, got in touch with the Humane Society of North Texas. 

Stella was rescued in July.HUMANE SOCIETY OF NORTH TEXAS

This withered, seemingly hopeless mare was named Stella. No one knows where she came from, but Stella hadn't known love in a long time. In a way, she was lucky. There are some places in Texas where horses never know love at all.

"When we got there to help, she was actually down," Whitney Hanson of the Humane Society of North Texas tells The Dodo. "For those people who know about horses, the worst thing that could happen is for a horse to stay down."

Rescuers managed to get Stella to the organization's property, where horses are rehabilitated. But she still couldn't stand on her own. They devised a unique solution, an enormous sling held aloft by a heavy-duty pallet lifter.


So for weeks Stella was buoyed only by machinery and tethers. 

"We were treating those bites and working with her trying to build up her strength and getting her to gain weight," Whitney recalls.

Her spirit would have to do the rest. Stella started putting on weight, eventually gaining several hundred pounds, every ounce critical. And then, she found her feet.

"She started going on short walks," Hanson says. "Then she started going on longer walks. Then she started running."

Today, it's hard to imagine the apocalyptic vision Stella must have once appeared on that lonely country road. 

No longer a vision of the Apocalypse.HUMANE SOCIETY OF NORTH TEXAS

This mare's road leads only to hope and a new life. 

"It's just been a really, really heartwarming transformation to see," Hanson says.

The final step on Stella's journey? She's looking for a home. But she doesn't want to walk this road alone any more. Stella made friends with another horse at the rehabilitation center, a dazzling white mare.

Stella and her best friend.HUMANE SOCIETY OF NORTH TEXAS

"We're hoping to get them adopted together because they're best friends," Hanson says. "They're inseparable." 

Think you might be able to help them? Visit the Humane Society of North Texas or email

Love horses? Check out one that thinks its a frail little hummingbird.

18 Nov

Service Horse Gives Her Little Boy A Shoulder To Lean On

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from

Gwen might be the most popular fixture at the Winterberry Charter School in Anchorage, Alaska and she's not even one of the students! The miniature horse is a service animal for 7-year-old Zaiden Beattie, and she's there to help him walk.


Beattie has a rare genetic disease called Ataxia-telangiectasia, which will gradually affect both his balance and his muscle control. He will have to use a wheelchair at some point, the Alaska Dispatch News reports, and the disease will eventually be fatal. 


Using a walker was an option for the little boy, but Beattie loves animals, and a service horse seemed like a much better choice: A helper who could also be a friend. 

Continue reading >

6 Nov

Baby Horse Needs a Little Help to Reunite with Her Mom

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from

The open road can be a dangerous place, but for baby animals who are accidentally separated from their mothers, it can be a whole new level of scary.

YouTube video captures the moment a few travelers spotted something unusual up ahead.

What's that on the road? Another driver switching lanes without a turn signal?


After slowing down, a closer look revealed the fellow traveler to be a baby horse. 


Continue reading >

30 Oct

Patient Horse Takes Her Tiny Best Friend For a Walk

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from

We always see dogs being patient and protective of their tiny humans — but horses?

A little girl was out playing in the snow with her best friend, who just so happens to be a horse named Cinnamon. When the little girl decides to bring Cinnamon back into the house, you'd think the horse wouldn't know how to handle being led by a human who is so small — but she totally does.


Posted by RantPets on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cinnamon is so amazingly gentle and patient with her little human, never going too fast and stopping when the little girl drops her reigns.

While the girl probably thinks she's the one leading Cinnamon, really, Cinnamon is the one leading her, and protecting her as they navigate the great big world together.

Humans can have an amazing bond. Watch the story of Kareem and how his horses changed his life: 

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