A 31-year-old blind Appaloosa gets a second chance at life thanks to an animal sanctuary in New York, writes blog.theanimalrescuesite.greatergood
Buddy lost his sight due to a condition known as uveitis. His owner was about to euthanize him because she could no longer care for him, but Kathy Stevens, founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS), came to his rescue.
She introduced the gentle giant to her followers and said, “Most people are either unable or unwilling to provide the extra care required when horses lose their vision, and so many are euthanized.”
Stevens met Buddy and saw he still “had some good years left”, so she took him home. He will now spend his golden years roaming grassy pastures with other blind horses.
Ironically, he is the fourth blind horse to arrive at the sanctuary named Buddy. “We’ve now had FOUR blind horses named Buddy — maybe a remarkable coincidence, but we think it’s a sign that this is the path we are meant to walk, side by side with those horses the world has given up on, leading them into their new lives,” wrote the sanctuary.
Stevens and CAS staff have been working with Buddy for months to teach him verbal cues to help him navigate around his new home.
She explained that her approach to teaching blind horses and animals to get around is no different than teaching a blind child. “(Any animal) with or without eyes can learn language, can learn words,” she said.
Buddy knows the commands “up”, “down”, “stop”, “water”, and many more. He has complete trust and faith in his human handlers and is even seen trotting in a viral video posted by CAS. “Over 2 and a half MILLION people have heard Buddy’s story and fallen in love. He is learning SO fast, and filling our hearts with so much joy,” posted CAS.
Buddy has made many friends (especially with the pigs) but his best friend is a 35-year-old blind Appaloosa, also named Buddy. The two spend their days grazing together and at night are stalled next to one another.
Buddy will live the rest of his days surrounded by friends in a loving environment. His rescue and long-term care are possible due in part to sponsors. The sanctuary relies on sponsors to help care for all the rescued animals and their special needs.