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Adopt, Rescue, Love Forever

Updated: May 24, 2019

I can't in my wildest dreams ever even start to image what a horrible person someone must be to even consider abusing an animal. Especially high on the list are dogs. Dogs are loyal, they love you no matter what conditions you have. Yet I have seen dogs dumped on the side of the road but there are still puppy mills in this world. And people are starving their own animals and they themselves can't even fit in the police car when they get taken to court.

None of these stories are mine but I got permission to use them.

The site is

“Charlie, a starving horse when The HSUS rescued him nearly two years ago, is loved and well cared for in his new home. But he still gobbles up all his food as if he’s afraid he won’t get more any time soon.

It’s been quite a journey, helping Charlie to recover from abuse. And this fall, the gentle horse will come full circle—he will help foster children make their own transitions from trauma to wholeness. Meanwhile, he’s become living proof of the joys of adopting a rescued horse.

A striking 5-year-old Paint breed with unique coloring, Charlie was among 84 horribly neglected horses rescued by the Humane Society of the United States and the Cannon County Sheriff's Department from a 100-acre farm in Tennessee in 2009.

When Laurel Perrigo heard that volunteers were needed to care for the horses at a temporary shelter set up in fairgrounds outside Nashville, she didn’t hesitate. By chance, she was assigned to muck out stalls on the row where Charlie was.

“I had seven horses at home on our farm,” she said. “I wasn’t looking for another horse.”

“But Charlie was a charmer. Most of the horses were shy and leery of people they would retreat into the corner of their stalls when approached. Not Charlie. He was curious.

When Perrigo curry-combed him, he leaned into her. Then, when she finished combing, he looked at her and “kissed her” with a muzzle on her nose.

“That’s when Charlie wound his way into our hearts and into our family,” she says. “I had no idea when I went to volunteer that I would get a horse so special.”

After an evaluation, Perrigo was able to adopt Charlie and take him back to her farm to join her other horses, animals and family. Over time, he gained 200 pounds of muscle. He was easily trained for riding, and Perrigo even rode him in a horse show.A hard-luck horse helps hard-luck kids

Charlie will soon start visiting the same Tennessee county where he endured abuse—but this time, he’ll be at the 300-acre Son Valley Ranch, which gives foster children a weekend in the country where they learn to care for and ride horses, among other activities.

Perrigo, a mother of three, will be a camp counselor and will bring Charlie on the weekends to work with the campers.

“Many of these children have gone through hard times,” Perrigo says. “Charlie was discarded and left without any food. These kids may have been discarded by their families too. If they know that the horse has gone through hard times too, they feel that connection.”

“Working with a horse has such a calming effect,” she adds. “I think a lot of conversations will happen with Charlie around.”

Perrigo says she is looking forward to helping open new worlds for foster children who desperately need healing.

“A lot of these kids have never been on a horse before—or even left the city before. Charlie was rescued and he has a purposeful life now,” she says. “Hopefully, these kids can learn to trust and look at the life ahead of them, even though their parents may have made bad decisions".

Adopt a horse: Everybody wins

“Charlie’s story shows how rewarding it can be to adopt a rescue horse,” says Keith Dane, Director of Equine Protection for The HSUS. “These horses deserve a second chance at a good life, and Charlie’s certainly getting that second chance now.” And Perrigo has found a “sweetheart” of a horse, who, she writes, “is an absolute joy to ride.” Everybody wins.”

“Animals found at the property Squirrel monkeys collapsed on top of an unguarded heater © RSPCA. RSPCA Inspector John Pollock attended and found three squirrel monkeys – a young male, an adult male and an adult female in a utility room with no sign of food or water. The room was hot with an unguarded heater, an exposed lead on the floor and no specific enrichment for the monkeys.

There was no bedding or nesting areas, just an open dog cage which contained a heavily soiled towel. The tops of the units where the monkeys were running were soiled and there was a strong odour in the room. The surfaces and floor were littered with food waste, plastic waste and faeces.

Two ring tailed lemurs were also found at the premises but sadly one had died, this lemur appeared to be in very poor bodily condition, had injuries to its toes and fingers and its teeth appeared in poor condition. The second lemur was active and alert and readily took food. A wallaby was also discovered dead in a swimming pool at the property.

No Dangerous Wild Animal Act licence had been issued to the site or the owner.

Desperate for food

The monkeys looked thin, their fur was sparse and their tails looked sore. All the monkeys were seen to be scratching themselves and the young male had an old injury to his right eye. Two monkeys approached John with their hands out to retrieve food.

A Crab-eating macaque was found outside in a cage on a trailer in the rear yard. There was dirty water and no fresh food, only soiled rotting food littered the bottom of the cage.

A red necked wallaby was seen and appeared bright and alert.

All of the animals were fed and provided with fresh water and clean bedding.

The police seized the four monkeys after a vet confirmed the animals were likely to suffer if their circumstances did not change. The squirrel monkeys were taken to Monkey World, the macaque to another monkey sanctuary and the wallaby to our West Hatch Wildlife hospital.

Monkeys were thin at best

A veterinary surgeon from the International Zoo Veterinary Group examined the monkeys after they'd been anaesthetized and found that:

the young male squirrel monkey was thin

the adult male was 25 percent underweight

and the female was emaciated.

All three squirrel monkeys showed signs of calcium and Vitamin D3 deficiency.

Primates require specialist care and aren't suitable for pets

When interviewed it became clear the man had no real knowledge or background in regards to keeping primates and admitted his cleaning regime for the animals was poor. He said he'd looked after the lemurs for three months, owned the macaque for five months, owned one squirrel monkey for seven months and the others for two months. None of the animals had been seen by a vet.

Monkeys need companionship

He said he kept the macaque on its own because it was unsociable. An expert referred to the importance of companionship of their own kind. Keeping a macaque singly can cause the animal to suffer psychologically and can lead to the development of psychosis, abnormal behaviour, hyper aggression and depression. These psychological conditions can often lead to physical illness.

Failing to meet the needs of animals

The 46-year-old online salesman was convicted of failing to meet the needs of three squirrel monkeys, a macaque and a ring tailed lemur.

In passing sentence at Taunton magistrates court, Magistrates stated that the offending was "so serious that only custody is appropriate – you breached the Codes of Practice – and we have noted the number of animals and different species".

They sentenced him to 12 weeks custody, concurrent for each offence and deprived him of the three squirrel monkeys. He was disqualified from keeping primates and macropods for 10 years and can't apply to have his disqualification removed for seven years.¨

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