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Foal Removed from Readsboro Horse Farm Dies

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 - 12:55 PM
Deerfield Valley News
June 28, 2007
By Christian Avard


READSBORO- A foal recently rescued by the Windham County Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States (and pictured in the June 14 edition of The Deerfield Valley News) has died from an unknown illness. Representatives from Animal Control of Bennington County, the New England Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States, the Readsboro dog officer, the Vermont State Police, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and the Windham County Humane Society rescued nine malnourished horses belonging to Judith Page and Doug Nicklien, of Readsboro. In all two stallions, two foals, and six mares in substandard condition were moved to a Windham County facility for rehabilitation. Out of the nine, one of the foals did not make it.


“She passed away on June 15 after having a very serious infection. We still don’t know what caused it,” said Joanne Bourbeau, New England Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “ We think it could have been the result of when and where she was born, the conditions she lived in, or the stresses of being moved to different locations. I’m sure all of that did not help.”


The other horses are slowly returning back to health while two of the mares are still struggling.


“Everyone else is doing fine. They’re gaining weight, they’ve seen a farrier, and they also got floated. They needed to get that on a regular basis but many of them did not have any dental or foot care in quite a while,” said Bourbeau. “The two older mares had really bad foot conditions and suffer from white line disease. They still have cracks all the way to the hooves but as they get longer, the cracks will go away but it will take some time to get the feet to where they should be. When their hooves get long they no longer can stand straight, and with the 20-year-old mare, they were turned out because she couldn’t stand straight. So the treatment (for both of them) is to soak them up to the length of their feet and see what happens from there.”


But despite the conditions they came from, Bourbeau adds the horses still have made significant progress.


“They are progressing. They’re now registered as quarter horses in Vermont, and we hope to get them up for adoption soon. They just need to get more on their feet before going into their new homes,” said Bourbeau.


Bourbeau did mention that Jesse Robson, the Vermont state trooper who responded to the rescue, sent an affidavit over to the state’s attorney’s office but the Bennington County State’s Attorney, Erica Marthage, has still not made a decision as to whether or not Page and Nicklien will be charged.


Page and Nicklien began rescuing horses a couple of years ago upon learning that a pharmaceutical Page was using for hormone therapy was derived from horse urine. She then found out that thousands of foals are born annually as a byproduct of this process and auctioned off at slaughterhouses. Upon learning this, Page began rescuing horses from slaughterhouses and their farm became a drop point for adoption groups in New England. Since the horses were removed, Page and Nicklien are no longer involved in horse rescue.


For more information on how to help the horses contact the Windham County Humane Society at (802) 254-2232.


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