Pony 'Big Ben' was rescued thanks to good Samaritan and Pegasus Project
By Stephanie Frazier| May 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM CDT - Updated July 20 at 10:08 PM
EDOM, TX (KLTV)
A concerned East Texan with a kind heart and a cell phone took a picture of a suffering pony in her neighborhood and asked a rescue group for help saving him.
The Good Samaritan reached out to The Pegasus Project, located in the Edom area, showing founders Allyson and Mike DeCanio the cell phone photo of the pony's "slipper feet," pictured below. The pony could barely get around on his feet, so he didn't move around much.
If a horse or pony is not given regular hoof care and trimming, his hooves will continue to grow into the shape of "Aladdin's slippers," eventually turning up, damaging his bone structure and causing the animal constant pain.
Allyson approached the chocolate palomino pony's owners, explaining to them the pony's condition and the problem it is causing him, and asked them to surrender him to the Pegasus Project. They agreed, and signed him over.
Two days later, the pony arrived by trailer at the Pegasus Project ranch. Allyson said he seemed like he was a bit scared and shy, but he was given a nice place to stay and get accustomed to being in his new home. He let Allyson love on him a little bit to help calm his nerves.
Allyson with the nervous pony
A dentist visited The Pegasus Project ranch and was able to determine that the pony's age was six years old. He began receiving hoof care at the Pegasus ranch. Carl and Shelby Wade went out to give him the first of several trims. The process must be gradual, Allyson said, to ease the pony's bones and muscles into their correct placement. An abrupt change would cause him intense pain.
Here's what his hooves looked like after the first trip by the Wades; he's pictured with Shelby here.
Carol and Shelby said that they'd return in two weeks to do further treatment to his hooves, and they did.
You can see the difference in the pony, now named "Big Ben," in the picture below; he's realized he can finally really move and he practically dances around his pen, finally beginning to be free of slipper feet limitations and pain.
Big Ben is still undergoing rehabilitative treatment at the Pegasus Project, and is not quite yet ready to be adopted, but soon, he will need a home. The Pegasus Project is not a sanctuary, but a rescue ranch that rehabilitates abused, neglected or abandoned horses, ponies and donkeys. They provide medical care for the animals, as well as training, so that the animals can move on to carefully-screened homes to live happy lives again.
The Pegasus Project is a labor of love for Mike and Allyson DeCanio, and they have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and a significant amount of their own money) into this rescue ranch, but animal lovers and humanitarians are also an integral part of the sanctuary's survival. From the purchase of t-shirts to donations of equipment or food to financial gifts of varying sizes, the support of the community is an integral part of the success of the Pegasus Project.