Horse saved from neglected home needs hoof surgery

CREATED Jan 12, 2014

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NAPLES, Fla. - Head stuck in a barrel of hay, 12-year-old Silver is living the good life.

"He knows there's two meals a day, guaranteed," his new owner Jennifer Barnes said.

Regular meals are a big deal for the horse. Just three months ago, Silver was skin and bones.

"He was thin, he had a lot of superficial wounds," Barnes said.

Silver was one of seven horses the Lee County Sheriff's Office seized from a farm in Alva after neighbors complained they were malnourished.

Jennifer Barnes and her husband bought silver at an auction for $25.

"We just knew we wanted to save him, we just wanted to be able to fix him," Barnes said. 

Silver is now back to a healthy weight, but there's still one problem; his hoof.

"His hoof was very swollen, it had abscessed and was draining badly," Barnes said.

Silver has a mineralized tumor in his hoof, which causes him to painfully limp. Taking it out is a complicated surgery and can only be done by a specialized veterinarian in Brandon.

The Barnes can get Silver there and care for him afterwards, but they just need help covering the $3,000 surgery costs.

Barnes has turned to online fundraising.

"We are just looking for a little bit of kindness out of others," Barnes said.

To match the kindness the Barnes have shown Silver.

"The other night when it was cold we went to put a blanket on him and as we did he just stood there and leaned his head up against me, it's almost like he knows we are trying to help him," Barnes said.

You can help Silver by donating directly to the Surgi-Care Center for Horses in Brandon.