Benny’s Story: Starved to the brink of death; saved at the last minute by Last Stop Horse Rescue

A Four-Year-Old Horse Lived to become Five Thanks to Heroic Efforts of Last Stop Horse Rescue — and Your Donations

Benny, a 4-year-old horse rescued by Last Stop Horse Rescue, Prentiss, ME

Warning: The graphic video which appears mid-way through this article will make you sick to your stomach, and if you have any conscience at all, it will make you angry.

Then it will likely make you cry (or want to throw things or hit people) because of the injustice done to Benny, a four-year-old horse, starved to within what appears to be days, if not literally hours of death.  Benny was in such poor condition, barely a skeleton with a beating heart, that he could not even stand on his own and had to begin his rehabilitation in a sling.

But keep watching because goosebumps will surely come when you see him slowly coming back to life.  You may even cry happy tears because, unlike many horses starved to this degree, Benny does make it and this is cause for great celebration.

For me, however, the happy tears were transitory because as soon as Benny’s rescue story was done playing, YouTube suggested I might like similar videos.

Hell no, YouTube, I don’t want to see more.  But then again, I need to.

I don’t want to see similar stories – I don’t want think about other horses going through what Benny did.  I don’t want to see further proof that evil exists in the thousands of near-death-experience horses whose stories haunt the deeper recesses of YouTube.  I already know and I do not like it.  And so, I shifted back into outrage mode because, at least according to the number of YouTube videos giving testimony to the evil mankind is cable of, there are a lot of “Bennys” out there struggling for their lives right now.

Perhaps even more sobering than watching a barely alive horse struggling is that the videos on YouTube only tell of those who have been rescued (and even their stories don’t include all the horror-to-Heaven rescue stories.)    Right now, even as you read this article, there are countless horses who aren’t in a safe place yet; who will never be seen on YouTube with a Disney ending because they won’t survive their tormentors.

It is hard — very hard, to watch this video despite my spoiler that there is a happy ending coming because it serves as a tangible, disturbingly visceral reminder of the callousness of people who regard horses as property and do not see animals as living beings with needs, thoughts, and emotions and feelings of their own.

It is hard to watch as you sit in a warm office, in a comfy chair, sipping a fresh cup of Joe with a full belly knowing that there are horses out there shivering, starving, dying in the cold.  Alone.

It is hard to watch because you feel helpless.

But I needed to watch

I needed to be reminded of why I created this site and have adopted two rescues myself and now have no retirement fund.  I needed to be reminded that money talks and … well, you know the saying.  So after watching several equally horrific videos, I wrote this article about what I saw hoping to spread the word, and then I sent a check to the organization that helped Benny.

And, now I want you to watch, too.  Not for me, for Benny and all the kindred equine souls out there who need you to know, and to care, and then, to take action.

The Video

Before being rescued, Benny was kept by people who were intentionally inflicting upon him a lonely, slow, painful death.  In my book of humanity that is not neglect, nor even apathy — it is outright evil personified.  Horses do not starve overnight.  It was obvious to his owners that their horse was in decline and yet day after day, his POS human captors (because, really, ‘owner’ is incorrectly descriptive of how bad these people were) ignored him and continued to torture him.

Any human who could do this to an animal — who could walk by each day and remain unaffected by his suffering and not do anything to help can only be described by one word:  sociopath.

Yes, torture. Not neglect.

If we stopped feeding prison inmates it would be considered a form of torture, and there would be great public outcry.  If you purposely starved any human to the bring of death it would be considered a willful, intentional criminal act — not simply neglect.

Unfortunately, our legal system  treats animals as property.  Although there are laws protecting animals against abuse and neglect, cases can be hard to prosecute and too often result in barely a slap on the wrist.  Yet, if you even locked a child in a cage, it would be a crime and you  bet your bum that one call to child protective services would likely be all it took to get action — and make the nightly news headlines.  But starve an animal, deny them access to clean water or a place of shelter, and we call it “neglect.”

Benny was fortunate.  Few horses in his condition are rescued in time to make it, and they often have organ damage, heart conditions, or brittle bones.  They are not easy to save and rehabilitate.   I know.  I adopted a horse with a body score of 1.  He lived happy and devoutly loved for 1.5 years as my ‘bestest’ companion in all the world, but despite quality care, he eventually succumbed to brittle bones and we had to let him go when he broke his leg simply turning around the wrong way in his stall.  It was devastating to lose him, but even more devastating to lose him because of damage done by his former POS human captors that in the end, still won.

When Benny was rescued he found more than healing of his emaciated, exhausted body.  He found healing for his soul.  And each time I see such a sad soul rescued, I know my own little gelding in Heaven rejoices with me.

When you think of rescues to support, remember Benny.  Remember Last Stop Horse Rescue because I would rather watch more horrific videos that have happy outcomes than to think of one single horse drawing his last breath because no one came.