Joanie the horse had never really experienced happiness in her life. Born in Illinois in 1999, this mare was bred to be a racehorse and she was pretty good. She competed in loads of raves and won quite a few. But unfortunately, she got too old to race and she was sold by her owner.
Joanie was sold to an Amish family. She worked long hours on their land pulling a buggy. Sadly, the equipment on the buggy tore her face and her fur which left her with big patches and hair loss.
For one reason or another, Joanie’s Amish owners didn’t want to keep her. So she was sent to an auction house. Joanie was placed in a “direct ship pen” which, unfortunately, means that she would be heading straight to the slaughterhouse after she was sold. She’d spent her whole life working for other people and now she was at risk of slaughter.
Joanie the horse was about to get a new shot at happiness
Thankfully, help was on the way. Jaime Castano, the founder of Freedom Farm Animal Rescue, never planned to adopt any animals when he went to the auction house. He originally planned on taking pictures and videos of the event to raise awareness of the plight of the animals.
But when Castano saw Joanie, he examined the horse and spotted something a little unusual on her. Joanie had the number ’25’ tattooed on her neck.
“I actually have the number 25 tattooed on my arm as a memorial for my uncle who had passed away. So when I happened to see her, I was like, ‘Oh my god.”
She was left with a lot of physical marks
Jamie also spotted that Joanie’s legs were covered in pinfire markings. These markings are given to racehorses.
“It’s pretty much like a shot of acid to freeze the tendon or muscle. So when they have an injury or they’re not performing their best, this is supposed to make them not feel that area. My vet had said, ‘Maybe four or five pin firing marks is almost normal,’ but she had 18 on each leg.”
At that moment, Jaime knew he couldn’t leave this poor horse at the auction house. He posted on the Freedom Farm Animal Rescue’s Instagram page asking for donations so he could buy the horse.
Thanks to all the kind people who shared and donated, the fate of poor Joanie was changed. She was free from the slaughterhouse. Joanie instead got a new home where she has space to run around and roam.
Joanie had finally found a loving home
Once they got Joanie back to their sanctuary, the team uploaded a video to Instagram of Joanie rolling around as a free horse in the field. She’s loving her new surroundings.
“If we’re in her field, she’ll follow us all around. To go from a horse that was on her way to a slaughterhouse to following us around the pasture — that’s incredible.”
FREEDOM ROLL!!! Don’t worry I will take the stickers off her butt in a second, I just wanted her to explore her pen. She is at a boarding facility where she will be seen by a vet immediately and quarantined for the next 21 days. Thank you to everyone who donated so we can save her life however if you did not get a chance to donate it is just as important now more than ever so she can be seen by a vet and we can buy her enough grain and hay for the remainder of her time in quarantine. PayPal: [email protected]
How amazing is this? Joanie the horse got a second chance at life thanks to so many caring people. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝