JOEY, A MINIATURE horse, and his new friend Dakota, granddaughter of Joeys rescuer Jane Witthohn of Claryville, hang out in his room at Witthohns. Joey is now at Pine Bush Equine recovering from a badly broken leg, but he will soon return to Claryville likely with a $5,000 surgery bill.
Can You Help Joey?
By Dan Hust
CLARYVILLE April 2, 2002 No doubt about it: Joey is one lucky little horse.
Having suffered for two weeks with a broken leg courtesy of a kick from an aggressive, full-size stallion, the miniature horse was ultimately rescued by a group of Town of Neversink residents who took him from his muddy quarters and brought him to Pine Bush Equine, a veterinary business in Pine Bush with horses as their specialty.
He could not walk, said one of Joeys rescuers, Jane Witthohn of Claryville. We had to carry him.
Joey stayed in Witthohns barn before being transferred to Pine Bush Equine. But even though Witthohn is a licensed NYS wildlife rehabilitator and a former mini owner herself, she couldnt do what was necessary for Joey.
Initially, doctors recommended the standard remedy for horses with broken legs.
The vet said, Shoot him, recalled Witthohn. But that wasnt an option. He didnt ask for this. I had to see if I could help him.
She could but only up to a point. She needed something more a lot more. And she has faith that it will come to pass.
Miracles do happen, Witthohn remarked.
But this time, the miracle requires a little financial help approximately $5,000 in all.
These finances are way beyond me, said Witthohn, explaining that the costs involve repairing the leg, putting in a metal plate, giving Joey the necessary drugs and fitting a cast.
Thats pretty much all in place now (Theyre marvelous at Pine Bush Equine, said Witthohn), but already the costs have exceeded $3,000, and hes expected to be there for at least another three weeks.
Unfortunately, the bills are adding up pretty quickly, said Witthohn, a self-confessed 46-year animal lover who runs a kennel and grooming business at her home.
As for Joey, considering he was confined in a 6x8-foot shed with five other horses and five goats before being rescued, Witthohn said hes still friendly with people even when in pain.
Hes doing quite well, but its a long process, she explained. Theyre amazing little creatures.
So amazing, actually, that Witthohn said miniature horses have been trained to be seeing-eye dogs.
In Joeys case, training will consist of six months of intensive rehabilitation at Witthohns home, and she admits that the experience will likely bond owner and horse, if not her granddaughter Dakota, too.
This is where hell probably be staying, she said, even though she got out of the mini business years ago. (Joeys former owner voluntarily gave him up to Witthohn and company.)
Witthohns fondest hope, however, is that more community members will show the support and care for Joey that several in the Town of Neversink already have. This time, he doesnt need a horse trailer and truck to drive him from Pine Bush, nor someone to rehabilitate him, nor a warm place to live those have already been provided.
This time, he needs money so that he can recover, said Witthohn, who has been putting donation cans around the area on Joeys behalf.
Could you please find it in your heart to help us help Joey? she writes in a letter being emailed around. Our sincere thank-you to you all.
To donate funds, send them to Witthohn at POB 60, Claryville, NY 12752, or call her at 985-2431.