Imagine you needed to pick up some paint or light bulbs at your neighborhood Home Depot one Saturday morning… As you motor around the white painted lines, looking for that perfect spot, you see a frantic pony skip-running around the parking lot. OMG! This is not expected, for sure!
One look and you would have known that the little pony was not OK. One look would have told you that this poor thing was very scared, had an ‘off’ gait and was decidedly very lost. Abandoned.
Wouldn’t your heart just drop? Wouldn’t you be terrified for his safety as he ran crazily around all those cars?!
Luckily for LeRoy, this now named disheveled and crippled pony, someone in the lot was his angel that day. This person recognized him. She knew she had seen him in abject conditions, confined inhumanely in a nearby yard. Now he was loose. She had to help him.
THEY CAPTURED HIM, NOW WHAT?…
Wonderful humans ran around after LeRoy for over an hour, trying to capture him safely. Once they got him, one of them kept LeRoy calm while someone else went for a trailer. Another person phoned Animal Control.
Animal Control arrived. The pony was not ‘right’ but not dire. He decided to make a special call…
The AC called The HOOVED ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY. HAHS, a 501(c)3, has been around for a long time and has established a stellar reputation by ethically, lovingly and efficiently helping needy animals over many years. So even though HAHS was two hours away from this Home Depot parking lot, the officer knew he had to call them…
WHAT TO DO?!
Dr. Patti Klein is the veterinarian and Executive Director of HAHS. Upon receiving the call for help from the Animal Control Officer, she immediately assumed responsibility for the pony, rushing around to fill out the legal paperwork, and then arranged for him to be brought to a nearby equine hospital. While LeRoy was in transit, Dr. Klein prepared the staff at the University of Wisconsin that LeRoy was on his way.
LeRoy arrived without incident and hopped out of the trailer (yes, on that leg…) to meet the kind people at the University of Veterinarian Medicine in Madison, WI. Everyone there sat around, staring at this pony with the misshapen back leg and scratched their heads… There was no doubt that LeRoy had a severely oddly angled back leg. Yet, he was walking. He could pick up his front feet. He could trot. He ate and drank. He was shy but personable. He seemed fine – except for that twisted back leg. Was it a tendon thing? Had he severed his tendons that supported his ankle? But why no pain? They had no idea. This was an odd case indeed. Radiographs would tell the fine doctors what LeRoy needed. Except no one, NO ONE was prepared for what they saw…
OMG. The entire staff at the Veterinary School gasped. How could this be? Clearly, LeRoy had a complete oblique displaced fracture of the distal left 3rd metatarsal. Huh? He wasn’t in pain! He was standing on it! He could pick up his front feet! He was eating and drinking. His pulses were fine. He wasn’t sweating… It was impossible that such a severe fracture could be inside of this pony.
But it was. You see, LeRoy had been dealing with this for at least four months. 4 months! He had gone through the excruciating pain, unaided, and the fracture had closed enabling him to motor about. He was one in a million.
ALL THE DOCTORS DISCUSSED WHAT TO DO…
Usually, with a fracture like this…well, you know what happens. But on this record day, these astounded doctors had to think outside the box. Clearly LeRoy was not in danger of dying and he didn’t seem to be in pain. But, how could he have survived this traumatic of an injury? And, what would his life be like if they did nothing… what would his life be like if they did do something… There was much to consider.
One doctor stated in awe, “He sure knew how to take care of himself… Most horses with this kind of an injury would have continued to damage the leg beyond repair.”
All the good doctors discussed the situation before them and decided that this tough little pony deserved a chance at a better life. LeRoy was only 15 years old and he had plenty of life ahead. He had been so careful to save himself from further damage, the doctors felt they owed it to him to help. It was determined that they would repair the leg and try to get it back to a sound position. The doctors called Dr. Klein at HAHS with their recommendation.
Without hesitation, HAHS said they would raise funds to pay for LeRoy’s surgery. But, the hospital didn’t wait for money… they trusted that the funds would be raised and proceeded immediately to help little LeRoy. Very Nice.
LeRoy had his surgery. The doctors and techs said that LeRoy was an absolute dream to work around. (Except he hates needles…) He recovered from the immediate surgery and now everyone is holding their breath hoping nothing goes wrong and that everything holds in place while he has time to heal. He is fine. He is careful. The cast has maintained. Nothing has moved. All the screws are in line. He just has to heal… Hopefully, he will – just like he healed himself when no one was around to help him.
He is back at HAHS and they watch him like he’s a delicate egg. Everyone is pulling for this sweet little Shetland. Everyone wants him to fully recover and have a sound life. He has captured the hearts of all who meet his shaggy little face.
I think this resourceful pony, who was so neglected, who survived a broken leg, who took care of himself, who busted out of his intolerable pen and who found himself lost and frightened in a Home Depot parking lot, deserves some help. LeRoy, the wonderpony, has done enough on his own.
Atta boy, LeRoy, atta boy!