Blazes Equine Rescue
Five-year-old Monopoly was rescued in 2010 and place up for adoption. He is one of the hundreds of horses who have found a soft landing on the homestead of the Cross family of Jones, Oklahoma (United States) While holding full time jobs and raising a family, Shawn and Natalee Cross show spectacular devotion to the horses and other equines in their care.
A message from Natalee and Shawn Cross: "Sissy came into rescue along with 39 other horses, 12 Donkeys and a mule that were severely starved and neglected in Sayre, Oklahoma. Neighbors reported seeing several dead animals on the property to the Beckham County Sheriff's Office on April 28, 2009. Approximately 45 horse carcasses were located in different states of decomposition. The remaining 52 horses were found infested with internal and external parasites, injuries left untreated, hooves in extremely poor condition, some pregnant, one with a dislocated hip and another with a broken leg and body conditions ranging from a 1 to a 3. None of these horses were being properly cared for or had received proper veterinary care in quite some time. Some of the horses' hooves had growth over a year old. This is by far, one of the worst rescues we have seen. These horses have suffered a great deal. However, the ones that did not make it, suffered more than they should have been allowed. Horses were found dead, where they had dug themselves a hole and clearly suffered and died. It was devastating! We were able to save 52 horses, all of which are doing wonderful! These horses will never have to suffer the hands of such horrible neglect again."
Petunia came into the rescue program extremely emaciated, infested with internal and external parasites. She is a beautiful, gray quarter horse estimated to be 18 years of age. Petunia has received a lot of dental work, which hopefully, will assist her with her weight gain. She is super sweet, loves attention and will stand with you for hours while you brush and love on her. If you walk away, she will follow you. This sweet girl has a long road of recovery ahead of her.
Crash came from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division after he was hit by a car. Crash had to have his shoulder sewn up due to the accident. He was never reclaimed by his owner. Shawn Cross explains, "Crash is one of those few horses that you come by that is naturally smart and wililng to please. We have ridden him twice and the first time we saddled him up, he acted as though, he had been saddled 100 times."
This is Nala. She arrived emaciated with an extremely bad infection in her mouth. She had several rotten teeth that needed to be pulled, which resulted in the infection and the huge abscess on the side of her face. This poor girl was in obvious pain. She is currently being treated and on antibiotics and we hope that we are getting ahead of the infection. The cost of rehabilitation for horses like Nala is no small thing.
Blanche is an 18 year old, Miniature Donkey, Jenny. Blanche is extremely emaciated and in critical condition. She is very lethargic and we knew immediately something was going on with this little girl. Upon veterinary examination, it is clear that she had miscarried a foal shortly before coming into rescue and hemorrhaged. She has a lot of trauma to her uterus. She is severely anemic and in order to save this sweet girl, she will probably require a blood transfusion. She is a sweet girl and deserves every chance possible to save her life.
The American charity Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue, located in Jones, Oklahoma, is a family run organization that gets its unique name from a story that forms the very bedrock of their rescue mission.
"We named our rescue on behalf of one of our horses, Blaze," Natalee Cross explains. "In the summer of 2001 we were residing in Guthrie, Oklahoma, when a large fire spread very quickly throughout Guthrie. We had to evacuate, but not without our precious horses. As we were leaving ,we crossed a wooden bridge and the floor of the horse trailer fell through underneath Blaze. Unfortunately, her hind legs were injured pretty badly. We tried to get her veterinary assistance, but upon examining her legs, they all stated that we needed to find another horse. We weren't giving up on her that easily. After much searching we located a vet that was willing to give her a chance, a chance that she deserved. After a month of rehabilitation following surgery and keeping it easy on her legs, she made a full recovery. Blaze only has minor scars on her legs today. Little did we know that was only the beginning of our rescue attempts."
Today Shawn and Natalee Cross manage a large rescue program dedicated to improving the lives of neglected, starved and abused horses. They provide rescue to equines in distress, regardless of age or disability. They assist the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division, the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office and any other rural county/animal welfare divisions that request assistance with cruelty cases. A robust rehabilitation program allows most of the rescued horses to find adoptive homes. The group also promotes and teach horse care and humane, natural methods for training horses.
We at the Harmony fund are inspired by the dedication of this family and the sacrifices they have made to care for the horses, often with funds from their own pockets. The Cross family has, at times, had to pass on dreams for themselves, in favor of restoring health and joy to the horses. The Crosses teach us about the power of compassion and the innate ability we each have to turn things around for animals in crisis. Please help us support their blessed mission.