Anakin has now been at Pilchuck for three weeks. We continue to see improvements in his condition. He’s steadily gaining about a pound a day, topping the scales at about 865 lbs now. (For reference, a horse his size should weigh between 1100 and 1200 lbs.) His calorie count is slowly being increased, and this week, he’s being started on Purina Equine Senior Active, a low carb, high fat supplement that’s being added to the 12 lbs of soaked alfalfa pellets he gets every day. He’s getting all the hay he wants, and continues to be an enthusiastic eater. No more episodes of colic, thankfully.

We told you last week that he’d been started on low doses of Bute, and the blood tests that were done to check on this showed no adverse reaction to the medication. 

Anakin is still not getting to his feet without help, but there have been a few encouraging changes in the past week. The biggest is that he is starting to stay on his feet for longer periods of time. Over the weekend, he was up for nearly 48 hours straight. He is also showing more of an inclination to try to get up, but his timing tends to be off. He will make a decent attempt on his own while the technicians are still getting the hoist in position, but he does it before they are able to add any lift. He then gives up in exhaustion and once again has to be deadlifted. There was one time late last week that Anakin showed some frustration with the lifting process. He’s usually as docile as a lamb for the techs, but on that day, he seemed fed up with the whole thing and started thrashing around in the sling. This was encouraging in terms of his involvement in the process, emotional or otherwise, but in a space as small as a stall, it can be dangerous for those who are trying to help him. We haven’t had a repeat of this behavior, but even Anakin seems to be saying, hey! this can’t go on forever!

Anakin’s stall at Pilchuck has both interior and exterior doors, and on sunny days, the techs have started opening the top of his exterior door to let some light and air in. Anakin was visited by some of the gals from SAFE a few days ago, and Jessica took some lovely photos of him. 

Anakin’s story was published in the Seattle Times over the weekend, bringing him a new group of well wishers and fans. Because of the article, Anakin received donations from Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, North Dakota, Arizona, California, New York, and of course, Washington. The outpouring of support and concern was incredible. 

Anakin has been with us for a total of five weeks now, with the first two weeks in the care of Dr Hannah Mueller at Cedarbrook Vet Care. As we reach the three-week mark for his stay at Pilchuck, we know that a lot of people are wondering what all of this care is costing. To date, Anakin’s care has cost about $8,500. Because his story has touched so many people, SAFE has received more than 80 gifts in Anakin’s name totaling over $12,000. These individuals all have different reasons for giving, but as a group, they want to see Anakin have the best chance possible to survive. This is why we have been able to go to extraordinary lengths for this horse. There’s no question that we could save a lot more horses with $12k, but this is money that SAFE would not have if it weren’t for Anakin. We are morally obligated to use it for Anakin, unless the donor has indicated otherwise. However, we are also obligated to do what is best for Anakin — and he cannot be made to live a life in which he cannot lie down and get back up again. So for now, we will continue to stay the course with his rehabilitation and pray that he continues to improve. We will regroup in another week and evaluate his situation again. 

Keep thinking good thoughts for our boy, especially “getting up” thoughts! 

If you have any questions or comments about Anakin’s situation, you are welcome and encouraged to contact SAFE’s Executive Director, Bonnie Hammond via email ( or phone (206–331-0006).