Anakin’s remarkable progress: ‘He’s really come a long way’


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WOODINVILLE, Wash. — A local horse that was near the brink of death in mid-December is making remarkable progress.

20-year-old Anakin was incredibly weak and thin when he was rescued from a small farm in Lewis County late last year. His hips and all of his ribs were exposed.

He’s gained about 100 pounds since then and is now able to stand up on his own, said Bonnie Hammond, Executive Director of the horse rescue group Save a Forgotten Equine (S.A.F.E.).

The brightness, the personality is coming through,” Hammond said. “He’s showing joy for life again, and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing to see.”

Anakin spent several weeks at Cedarbrook Veterinary Care in Snohomish following his rescue. As he started to feel better, he would try to lie down on his own, Hammond said. But he was too weak to get himself back up.

His hind legs were so weak from the starvation that he went through, that he didn’t have the strength to push his hind end up,” Hammond said. 

Anakin was transferred to Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, which has a stall with a hoist attached to the ceiling.

The hospital called Hammond every day to update her on Anakin’s status. After several weeks of care, Hammond received word from one of Anakin’s doctors that he had gotten up on his own.

When we listened to that (voice)mail, we cheered and we cried and we were so relieved that he had gotten to that point,” Hammond said. “We were going to be able to give this horse the thing we most wanted to give him and that’s a second chance. And boy, that was a relief.”

Some of Anakin’s bones are still visible, but his progress has been remarkable, Hammond said.

He has a couple hundred more pounds to go,” Hammond said. “We feel he’s out of the woods in terms of his stability, but he has a long way to go.”

Anakin is fed 4 meals a day. S.A.F.E. employees and volunteers have taken him on daily walks for the past 2 weeks to keep him mobile.

It’s really been cool over the last week or so to see his attitude and personality develop a little bit more,” said S.A.F.E.‘s barn manager. “He’s gotten more comfortable with the barn.”

He’s really come a long way in the last 7 weeks,” Hammond added.

Most of Anakin’s vet care has already eaten through the $11,000 viewers and admirers have donated for his recovery, Hammond said.

Hammond believes it’ll take at least another 4 months before Anakin is back to full strength.

He’ll get there, Hammond said. He’s already proven he has the will to survive.

He’s gonna be a beauty,” she said.

Anakin will be available for adoption once he’s healthy. S.A.F.E. plans to keep track of his progress for the rest of his life, employees said.

Click here for more information about Save A Forgotten Equine.