Beloved Sulphur Springs mare Dawn needs your help

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Dawn greets visitors during a May sanctuary tour. Photo by Irene Vejar.

Dear Friends,

Overnight on Tuesday, our beloved Sulphur Springs mare Dawn nearly died from severe colic. We’re happy to report that she is now recovering with a fair to good prognosis for recovery.

A 2 a.m. emergency surgery was only one part of a harrowing night. Despite being in visible pain, and despite never have been restrained or led on a halter, Dawn showed her trust in Neda, our president, and Elena, our equine manager. Dawn remained calm as they walked her along a dirt road in the dark from the south end of our sanctuary, loaded her into a trailer and drove her 35 miles at 11 p.m. to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center.

Dr. Wade Walker later discovered that a portion of Dawn’s small intestine had pushed into a hole in her colon. He removed 12 inches of her colon during the surgery. Dr. Erin Byrne is now overseeing Dawn’s aftercare. We’re hoping for the best.

Most who have visited our Lompoc headquarters sanctuary have met Dawn, a dorsal dun mare with a tri-colored mane and tail indicative of her Iberian ancestry. Her beauty is only exceeded by her warm, curious personality. The self-appointed ambassador of Bear’s band of Sulphur Springs horses, Dawn is among the most willing of our resident horses to approach people. She has been at the heart of magical moments for children and adults alike.

Dawn has given so much joy to so many that we could not fail her when she needed us most. Veterinary care is expensive, but we must uphold our promise to provide the best care possible to the deserving horses in our care at the sanctuary.

It’s our hope that the many photographers and visitors who’ve shared time with Dawn will help contribute to help us raise $15,000 for her care by donating to our Emergency Vet Fund.

On behalf of Dawn and all of our resident wild horses and burros, thank you for your support.

The RTF Team

Help Dawn: Donate to RTF’s Veterinary Fund

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