New Life for Horse Found Near Death

Horse rescued from Miami-Dade slaughterhouse keeps the Faith

A horse has been given a second chance after it was saved from near-certain death at a Northwest Miami-Dade slaughterhouse on Christmas.

The horse was one of two that were found in mid-December at the slaughterhouse, when authorities, performing raids on businesses in the C-9 Basin, cited the property for numerous violations of the law.

Both horses were skin and bones, according to Richard Couto, an animal abuse investigator with the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"I found two neglected, totally emaciated horses," said Couto. "A thousand different things were wrong with these horses, they were in extreme condition."

It turns out the two horses came from Calder Racetrack. They were not winners. And, despite a policy against such deals, a pony handler allegedly sold the horses to the slaughterhouse.

Despite their condition, the horses weren't removed from the slaughterhouse.

That's when Calder worker Carla Wolfson took action.

Armed with a video camera, Wolfson returned to the slaughterhouse to rescue the horses on Christmas day.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire life," Wolfson says as the camera rolls. "How could somebody do this to an animal."

After a brief protest, the slaughterhouse owner relented and allowed Wolfson to remove the horses, who Wolfson said were all set to be slaughtered.

"They were in the pen, they were next up," she said.

Unfortunately, just two days after they were removed, one of the horses, the one Wolfson nicknamed Hope, died.

The other horse, nicknamed Faith, survived. She's a gentle horse and Wolfson believes Faith knows she's been given a second shot at life. And though her appetite's back, Faith isn't out of the woods yet, her doctors said.

Meanwhile, a Calder spokesperson said that if they can prove that a pony handler intentionally sold to a slaughterhouse, they'll seek to have him banned for life from the racetrack.

Those involved in this dilemma said they will work to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.

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