Rescued by the MSPCA-Nevins Farm, Sugar Heads North with “17-Hands-High” Draft Horse Friend Named Dolly
BOSTON and Methuen, Mass. April 10, 2018 – It was a frigid winter day last December when an emaciated horse named Sugar first arrived at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen after she was surrendered by her previous owner, whose memory disorder became so severe that she forgot to feed the animal.
Sugar was emaciated upon arrival with her ribs and spine poking prominently out from beneath her skin.
Today, after several months of rehabilitative care, and the conclusion of a special refeeding program which saw her gain several hundred pounds, Sugar is ready to leave the farm. She will be transported to the Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in Ontario Canada, where she can live out the rest of her life.
Sugar was due to make the trip solo but, in recent months, she has become friendly with another horse at Nevins Farm whose rescue was no less dramatic. Dolly, a 25-year-old draft horse mare, arrived on the farm last July along with nine other horses, all of whom were surrendered to the MSPCA’s law enforcement department when their owner could no longer care for them.
Dolly is the last of the draft horses remaining at Nevins Farm, the others having been adopted into new homes—with three going to police and sheriff departments in New York and Massachusetts.
Life as a mounted police horse was out of the cards for Dolly, however. “Dolly is completely blind in one eye and has suspensory [ligament] issues which mean she cannot be ridden,” said Ellie Monteith, manager of the equine and farm animal program at Nevins Farm.
Monteith and her colleagues on the farm are grateful that both Sugar and Dolly can make the trip to Dog Tales together. “We started turning them out together shortly after Sugar’s arrival and they’ve enjoyed each other’s company, so we’re glad that they can spend the rest of their lives surrounded by dozens of other horses.”
Horses are social animals and often prefer the company of other equines. “What’s sad about Sugar is that the only horse she ever knew was her mother—whom she lived with until her mother died,” said Monteith.
“Her time with Dolly is really the first opportunity for her to experience companionship other than her mother and, because Dolly is accustomed to being in a herd, she’s the perfect horse to ‘mentor’ Sugar.”
Dog Tales is set on 50 acres of green fields, rolling hills and wooded areas in King City, Ontario. The picturesque location is home to dozens of rescued horses and dogs who often need a great deal of medical care before they can be adopted into new homes. For those unable to be adopted, Dog Tales serves as a permanent sanctuary for them to live out their lives.