Tropical Storm Andrea wreaks havoc on Loxahatchee horse rescue

Tropical Storm Andrea wreaks havoc on Loxahatchee horse rescue


Safe and dry, two of the nursemare foals enjoying their nap time at their foster home in Wellington.

Ten tiny foals of Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue in Loxahatchee, Fla. huddled together in a frightened little herd after the paddock they called home flooded early Thursday morning as the result of the driving rains of Tropical Storm Andrea. When owners Brad Gaver and Jennifer Swanson found one of the foals had been struck by lightning and killed, a frantic Facebook message asking for help soon brought volunteers and safe refuge for the two to four-month old babies.

The foals were brought to Pure Thoughts from Lexington, Kentucky where they were the by-products of the horse industry that breeds mares for the purpose of "leasing them out to other farms." The foals of racehorses and show horses are separated from their mothers shortly after birth. The nurse mare is then brought in to nurse the orphan foal which then enables the mares to either return to racing, train in the show arena, or able to be bred again.

Sadly, the foals from the nurse mares are often killed or left in a stall to starve and die; thus the rescue of nurse mare foals. Many of the foals are rescued as young as one-day-old. They seek love, comfort and nourishment from the humans who form close bonds with them.

Eight more foals are scheduled to arrive at Pure Thoughts, but for now they will have to be patient. Swanson hopes to bring the ten foals now being fostered back home next week.

Caring for the foals cost approximately $14 each a day to feed. Their milk bills alone add up to $126 a day and their grain bill is estimated at $27 a day.

"We have the most wonderful volunteers and a community who consistently watches over us to help us in times of need. I can not express how thankful I am to everyone who helps our rescue and now for these precious little foals who would have died if not for the help of so many generous people," stated Swanson as she surveyed the flooding and the damage done to her paddocks.

Swanson and her husband also care for 47 rescue horses on a regular basis. TS Andrea brought more flooding, a loss of paddocks, and some needed bales of hay.

Last August, Tropical Storm Isaac ravaged Pure Thoughts and flooded their pastures and stalls resulting in catastrophic damage to their facility. Jennifer and Brad, co-founders of Pure Thoughts are still recovering from that disaster.

For now, however the foals are safe, protected and being spoiled in their foster homes. If you are interested in adopting, please contact Brad Gaver at (561)-951-2108.

Pure Thoughts is a 501(c)3 Florida non-profit organization. Please click here to help.

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