MSPCA-Nevins Farm Rehabbing Emaciated Horse Before She Heads to Sanctuary in Canada

Previous Owner’s Illness Led to Near Disaster for Mare, But her Future is Oh So Bright

BOSTON and Methuen, Mass. Jan. 24, 2018 – The MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass. came to the rescue of a horse named “Sugar” last December after securing a voluntarily surrender from her previous owner, who was suffering from a memory disorder that became so severe she forgot to feed the animal, the organization announced today.

Sugar was transported from a Middlesex county property on Dec. 15 to Nevins Farm so she could be evaluated by equine veterinary specialists.  “This is one of those ‘nick of time’ scenarios,” said Roger Lauze of the MSPCA-Nevins Farm.  “Sugar was dying of starvation—had we gotten the call a minute later she may not have made it.”

Lauze and the equine veterinary specialists from Parrott Equine Associates evaluated Sugar and estimated that she is several hundred pounds underweight—she scored as a one, the lowest possible score, on the Henneke horse body condition scoring system.  “There was plenty of hay in her previous barn, but she just couldn’t reach it, so she was unable to feed,” said Lauze.

Owing to the previous owner’s medical condition, no charges have been filed. Sugar is now in the middle of a supervised re-feeding schedule to ensure she gains about 200 lbs, which would put her at about 900 lbs—a healthy weight for a horse her size.  “We estimate that she’ll consume about sixty five to 70 bales of hay during her time with us and the good news is that she has already put on some weight during her time with us,” added Lauze.

Help Sugar!

Readers who wish to contribute to Sugar’s ongoing care, and the care of animals like her, can donate via

Sugar is likely to consume some 3,500 lbs of hay during her stay on the farm, said Lauze.  “We are always, always in need of more hay.”  For as little as $7 per month readers can buy a bale of hay for Sugar and the other animals who rely on this staple food source.

Sugar’s Road Ahead Leads to…Canada!
Nevins Farm is now home to some 80 horses and other large farm animals, after recently taking in 26 more animals from a farm in Central Mass. because they lacked safe shelter to ensure they could survive the brutally cold winter—and the situation has become critical.

“The fact is we have too many animals and we’re in urgent need of finding adoptive homes for the many horses, goats, sheep, pigs, farm birds and other animals in our care,” said Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell.

Eager to expand safe sheltering options for the animals in his charge, Keiley reached out to Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in Ontario Canada on Christmas Eve, to determine whether they may take Sugar in after she is well enough to travel.  To Keiley’s delight, the answer was yes.

“We’re profoundly moved by Sugar’s plight and we welcome her to our sanctuary in Ontario, where she’ll join our other horses and farm animals,” said Rob Scheinberg, co-founder, Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.

“We look forward to her becoming well enough to travel and are so grateful we can play a role in her ongoing recovery,” said Danielle Eden, co-founder, Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary.

The Nevins Farm team believes Sugar will be ready to travel North in the next couple of months, depending on how quickly she returns to a healthy weight.



<- global tag ->