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Melody Receives Her Wings

June 2017

After a post went viral on FB on May 12, members of the Ohio SPCA Response Team headed down early the next morning to remove two severely neglected horses in Highland County. Pictures received prior to removal did not prepare us for the reality of the condition of both horses. Melody, the mare, was in horrific condition with an open wound oozing pus and containing maggots. In her weakened state and with her head drooping, Melody made her way to the trailer with her pasture buddy, Sebastian.  As we pulled out with our precious cargo in tow, we knew the fight for survival was about to begin.


Melody and Sebastian had been deprived of basic medical, farrier, and dental care for years. Their emaciated bodies were full of internal and external parasites. As Melody was bathed and groomed, the blood ran off her legs from the parasites feeding on her. The dead hanging flesh was cut off and her wound cleaned. Her body condition score was a -1 out of 5 meaning all of her muscle and fat stores had been depleted. Dr. Jonathan Yardley with the OSU Veterinarian Hospital felt that both horses had a chance of survival and so we began the life-saving efforts. 


We did everything we could, but Melody’s body could not recover from the severe neglect. Two weeks after she was rescued, Melody went down in her stall and could not get up. Volunteers who had grown to love her, brushed and hugged her emaciated body and gave her treats. The vet was called and the last act of compassion and love was given to this sweet mare. With her head in our director’s lap and surrounded by those who loved her, Melody crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The Ohio SPCA is in the process of preparing a prosecution packet and we will request that justice be served for Melody.


Although in their late twenties, age is never an excuse for neglect that results in suffering or death. Proper care is required during the life of any animal. Sebastian, the gelding, is hanging in there. His body condition was a 2.5 out of 5. Sebastian will make a perfect pasture pet for someone. Until then, he is safe with the Ohio SPCA. The rehabilitation of large animals is costly and the Ohio SPCA needs your help. Please consider becoming a monthly horse sponsor. As these majestic creatures travel the road to recovery or wait on their forever homes, you can be a part of their journey.



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