Snohomish horse near brink of death is now on road to recovery
By KOMO News Staff
Aired on Dec 12, 2015

Click this link to view the video on the KOMO Website

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — A local horse that’s near the brink of death is now on the long road to recovery in Snohomish.

It’s pretty tough to look at Anakin, a 20-year-old Thoroughbred gelding.

He’s painfully thin. His hips and all of his ribs are exposed.

No horse should ever look the way he does, said Bonnie Hammond.

I’ve never seen a horse as thin as Anakin is right now,” said Hammond, the Executive Director of Save a Forgotten Equine Horse Rescue. “It’s so hard to express how painful it is to see a lovely animal like this whose been starved to the brink of death.”

Hammond and her team had Anakin brought to Cedarbrook Veterinary Care in Snohomish after two recent rescue efforts at a small farm in Lewis County involving the Washington State Animal Response Team.

WASART teams were called out to the farm twice in early December when weakness and wet ground prevented Anakin from standing back up after lying down to rest, Hammond said. He was incredibly weak, she added. The fear of stroke or death was real.

The whole procedure really didn’t freak him out like most horses would. He was pretty calm about the whole thing,” said Hammond. “And it wasn’t until we found out about his history with (California State Polytechnic University) that all of a sudden it made sense.”

Anakin spent 12 years at the Cal Poly Equine Research Center in Pomona, California, which was established in 1980 to study horse health, reproductive physiology, behavior, parasitology, and immunology, Hammond said.

Anakin was one of a group of horses that participated in locomotion studies and high altitude studies. It was valuable research spent around lots of people and equipment, Hammond said.

He’s just got this amazing kindness and sort of wizeness about him,” said Hammond. “When I found out where he came from and what he did in his life, I was hooked. This is a really special horse.”

Hammond believes Anakin’s amazing spirit is a large reason why he’s still alive.

He’s not out of the woods yet, but tests performed this week show there’s no permanent damage to his liver or kidneys, Hammond said. He’s being kept in a clean, warm stall and eating a carefully controlled diet to prevent re-feeding syndrome, she added.

He’s so zen,” Hammond said.

If things continue to go well for Anakin, the plan is to eventually find him a good home to live out the rest of his life, Hammond added.

I’ve never seen a horse so thin who has so much light in his eyes. He’s decided that he’s not done yet. And he’s fought for his life as hard as he can,” Hammond said. 

He just deserves to be pampered, and loved, and cared for for the rest of his days.”

Click here to make a donation to SAFE to help pay for Anakin’s care.

WASART is a volunteer-based organization that relies on public support. Click here to make a donation to WASART.