As the gavel fell, the kill buyer purchased another horse – and Lola was next.
When Pasado’s Safe Haven arrived at the feedlot, we knew that we only had room for one horse. But how could we choose? All of these animals deserved to live. And then we saw Lola.
Lola was once a beloved companion who faithfully guided her owners over miles of mountainous terrain. She was a Paso Fino, the daughter of a champion show horse, royally bred and with the looks to match.
But when Pasado’s Safe Haven found her, kill buyers were prepared to purchase her by the pound.
Lola looked like she had given up. Her eyes and hair were dull, her head hung low, and her skin stretched loosely over her small frame.
Her sad, expressive eyes called out to us as if to say: “Why am I here? Please help me.”
We saw that Lola had made a friend in the cramped paddock. Horses are herd animals, and the two of them were providing each other comfort during a very frightening time. But we knew that we only had room for one horse.
Our hearts ached knowing that we couldn’t save them all. As we led Lola to our trailer, she turned her head and cried out to her friend.
Her friend cried back desperately. With heavy hearts, we loaded Lola into the trailer and closed the door. This is the heartbreaking work that Pasado’s does – we want to help them all… and we are haunted by the sentient beings that we couldn’t save.
While horses are not currently slaughtered in the U.S., Federal authorities from the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) agreed to issue a permit for a New Mexico plant to slaughter horses for human consumption on June 28. This would be the first horse slaughter plant in operation in the U.S. since 2007.
Currently, thousands of horses are still shipped to Canada and Mexico every year, sold by the pound for human consumption. Some people believe that few horses are sold and shipped for slaughter, but according to the Humane Society, more than 160,000 horses went to slaughter last year alone.
These are horses like Lola: sentient beings with unique personalities who deserve to be loved – and who still have so much life to live. Lola came so close to being sold for her flesh instead of being valued for her spirit.
Lola was shy and shaken when she arrived at the sanctuary, but with love, care, and patience, she has learned to trust us. And after we rescued her, Lola’s previous owner ran across her advertisement on Dreamhorse. He was sad and surprised that his former friend barely made it out of the feedlot, but he was happy to provide Pasado’s with important information about her.
Thanks to his help, we discovered that Lola is a 17-year-old Paso Fino whose registered name is Flying M Orquesta. Lola is the daughter of a famous Paso Fino stallion named Capuchino and she was ridden western and bareback all over the mountains as a trail horse.
Paso Finos are known for their smooth gaits, natural drive, and wonderful dispositions. They are kind, versatile horses that are known for their natural willingness to please their riders.
Standing only 14.2 hands high, Lola is small but powerful and she bears a resemblance to her famous sire. She has a beautiful chestnut coat and a little star on her forehead.
Lola is nervous about having her hind feet handled, but her previous owner said that she had these issues when he first acquired her. She has since made amazing progress in her time here at the sanctuary.
While he sold her to a private party, Lola’s previous owner was surprised to hear how close she came to being killed in a slaughterhouse.
“I’m not happy that she almost went to slaughter. She’s a great horse – fun to ride, friendly, and kind,” he stated.
“But with the current state of the economy, I’ve seen some things with horses that make me cringe.”
They make us cringe, too – but they also drive us to fight even harder for those who need our help the most.
Sadly, there are other horses in feedlots still waiting for the fateful fall of the gavel. Horses who wait to be rescued…horses just like Lola’s friend.
The entire horse slaughter process is frightening and inhumane.
Horses are shipped long distances, often for more than 24 hours at a time in overcrowded trailers, packed in so tightly that they can’t move. In these trailers, they do not have access to water, food, or rest. Many horses are often seriously injured or killed in transit to the slaughterhouses.
When they arrive at the slaughterhouse, their deaths are slow, terrifying, and brutal.
Some people believe that few horses are sent to slaughter, but according to the Humane Society, 160,000 horses were sent to slaughter last year alone.
And now that domestic horse slaughter appears to be a very real possibility, horses like Lola need your help more than ever.
Horses deserve so much more than this – they deserve a chance at life. And we hope to help give them that chance. We are committed to providing resources and networking with other rescues in emergency situations to help avoid incidents of abuse when someone is struggling to take care of their horse - but we cannot help them without your support.
Please be as generous as you can – lives do depend on it.
Lola has come so far – and thanks to the generous support of readers like you, she’s finally ready to be adopted.
This sweet girl has learned to love and trust humans once again and cannot wait to be part of a loving family.
Thank you – from all of the animals who have made it to Pasado’s sanctuary…and from those who are still hoping to find their safe haven.