Update 5/12/2012: I added a few pictures today to the Facebook album. They’re watermarked “Zephyra – Day Seven” so you’ll know which ones they are. They’re the last seven photos in the album. Overall Zephyra is coming along very nicely. Many of her stitches are coming out on their own. Some others she’s rubbing out accidentally on the feed-bucket, wall, floor, etc. That’s just something horses do and I’m sure they itch, but all her wounds are healing well and there’s no further sign of infection. The large wound on her left muzzle is still raw, but it has a lot of healing to do, so we’re expecting it to take longer. It stays treated each day with antibiotic cream though and Zephyra seems to be leaving it alone, so that’s good. She’s put on a little weight as well. All in all, we’ve not got much to report, which is great! Any big news would be bad news. She’s doing well, is fat and sassy, and is coming along nicely!
Update: 5/8/2012: I’ve finally, after two solid days of video editing, managed to get the documentary of this story online. If you’d like to see the video, you can watch it below.
Zephyra and her Story on YouTube
Zephra is a yearling Arab filly with a wonderfully sweet temperment. Earlier in the day I didn’ t know the entire story, but we’ve had time to get a handle on it now, so I’ll update you in a little more detail.
Zephra’s owner was out of town last night, in Asheville. Her horses were being looked after by a friend who suspected a fairly calm evening with no surprises. Well maybe it was the super-full moon last night or just a bad line-up of cosmic events, but a neighbor’s dog got out and got into Zephra’s pasture. It is my [Tommy] recollection that I was told the dog usually IS chained up next door and nothing like this has ever happened before. Regardless of how it happened, the dog got in the pasture and attacked Zephra.
Over a hundred miles away and without the funds to save her, the owner turned back and headed home as fast as she could get here. Between last night and today she has been trying to find a way to get care for Zephra, not having the financial capabilities to handle the tremendous surgery costs this would inevitably incur. Zephra is a rescue, brought here to the owner’s home to live peacefully and happily, not to be mauled by dogs at this young age, barely a year old.
Word got out of her plight on Facebook and the social network engine was at it’s best today. Through a series of instant messages, Facebook posts and phone calls, Zephra’s owner got put in touch with a local rescue group here in Stanly County, over two hours from where she lives. Unable to pay for the costs, she nonetheless let the rescue convince her to get Zephra down here to Bear Creek Vet for surgery.
Dr. Amy Jordan (my wife) and I, were previously successful once before in launching a campaign to help raise funds for another horse, Frankie the Foal, also mauled by dogs at one day old. Cindy Hunter called me and Amy to help out. Amy went to the clinic to get her arsenal of tools ready to help this poor baby filly. I went to my own arsenal; the web. While Amy worked on getting things ready for Zephra’s arrival, I worked on setting up a new donation fund, setting up this blog post, and getting my viewers to share the links as fast and as far as they can across the web.
Within an hour, before the horse was even to arrive at the clinic, already over $500 had come rolling in to the donation fund.
Zephra arrived to the clinic around 3 PM and immediately underwent two and a half hours of cleansing, debriding, and surgeries. She’s nowhere near being out of the woods yet, but she’s doing better for now. After spending all afternoon on Zephra, Dr. Amy had to leave the clinic as soon as Zephra was stable. Three more emergencies called in this afternoon. Zephra is currently resting at the clinic for a couple hours. Later this evening, the the surgery team will return to push plasme, IV fluids, and to administer further care.
We have had THOUSANDS of comments on Facebook from viewers wanting to know Zephra’s current condition. For now, she’s stable. That’s all we know right now. If you’d like to visit the Facebook album, it’s publicly viewable at: “Healing Zephra – The Journey”
As soon as I get the video files cut together tonight, I will upload a YouTube video of the surgery procedure as well as interviews with the owners and the doctor. It’s going to take me some time to get all this done, so bear with me.
In the meantime, you can comment below via Facebook and we will respond here. Thanks SO VERY MUCH to every single one of you who have donated and who are continuing to share this blog posting with others. We have a complete list of every donor and will be reaching out to each and every one of you with Thanks as soon as time permits. In the meantime, keep spreading the word and keep asking others to donate to this poor filly’s cause!
UPDATE: 1:43 PM – May 7, 2012
At this time, Dr. Amy has instructed me to remove the link for donations because, thanks to all of you world wide who have shared this link, we have (in less than 24 hours) raised an tremendous amount of money for Zephyra. In her medical opinion, based on the injuries Zephyra has sustained, Dr Amy feels the current amount is more than adequate to cover Zephyra’s current and foreseeable medical care.
The image (right) reflects the current donations received through paypal as of 1:24 this afternoon. An additional two $213.00 have been received from readers who have called the clinic or dropped off cash donations.
Imagine what you all just achieved: in 23 hours your sharing this link generated a total of $3,614.32!
It was tricky deciding how to handle the donations, but we have come up with a scenario that works out best for everyone. We realize that people freely gave money, money some of them didn’t have to spend, to care for this animal they don’t even know. We were left with two options; return the rest or start a Zephyra fund at a local agency somewhere. Considering the fact that Dr Amy and I have already been in the news quite enough lately, neither of us wants the responsibility of holding on to other people’s unused donations and creating a scenario where it could be said that the funds were used for personal gain or for purposes other than Zephyra’s care. We also think it’s unfair to retain the funds for use for general animal care. Each of the donors gave for their own reasons and from the heart, and to keep the money for another reason, not related to Zephyra, would be unfair to the spirit of the donation.
To that end, this is how we will handle the donations:
When Zephyra leaves Bear Creek to go home with her owner, her final medical bill will be tallied and the donations will be used to cover that bill. Whatever is left will be redistributed to the donors in the form of a Paypal refund (or cash/credit card refund in some cases) in percentages relative to what that particular person or company donated. This way, an equal portion of every person’s donation went to help Zephyra and no one person had to bear the brunt of the financial cost.
A person who donated $5.00 might get $3.00 back, meaning we only needed 40% of the donations to cover her care. I don’t have the exact figures yet and we won’t for a week or so at the earliest.
We feel this is the best way to say Thank You to all who donated and also feel that the willingness to not take more than is needed might translate into more goodwill down the road someday if another case like this comes up. If we can give a percentage back to the donors, maybe they will have the money to help another animal like this in distress somewhere else that needs medical care.
We sincerely, all of us, thank all the donors from the bottom of our hearts for your outrageous show of support for this little injured filly and her family. The prayers, donations, and kind words from all of you have made this a tremendous success.
Absolutely not! Zephyra is not out of the woods yet, and her care isn’t complete yet. We just know we have more money than we’ll need for her continued care! Since so many people across the world have contacted us and read her story, we will continue to keep you updated right here on this blog post with new updates as they become available. We will be taking pictures OFTEN to let you see her continuing improvement as well. Rest assured if anything comes up that needs help, we’ll let you know here on this blog. Keep her in your prayers and keep us in your prayers. You all are certainly in ours!
Much like with the Frankie The Foal campaign, this post seems to gather the attention of two kinds of people; those who feel sorry for this poor filly and want to help, and those who want to start conversation after conversation about the dog(s) and why they’ve always been right about how to handle dogs.
As much as I wanted to focus this page on Zephyra and her plight, there have been hundreds of comments on the photos and Facebook about the dog. This happened with the Frankie campaign as well, regardless of how much we tried to keep the conversations on topic.
Much like the two kinds of viewers, there are also two kinds of people working on this. We (and you guys through donations and prayers) are working on saving this filly and nursing her back to health. That is our ONLY concern. Animal control deals with mean/rabid/vampire/evil/blood-seeking/cujo-esque dogs. So.. THIS (and the Facebook photo gallery) are places to discuss the filly, her treatment, etc. If you want to talk to someone about the dog, you should be calling animal control or messaging them on Facebook, however I assure you they too are working as hard as they can to find the animal and to discover who it is and who it belongs to. Endless calls to them won’t make that easier unless you happen to have seen a dog walking around the neighborhood in Ellenboro with a few hoof-prints in it’s face. (She didn’t go down without a fight, after all.)
So use this blog and the associated Facebook walls to ask questions, offer prayers, send ideas, or anything of the like… about the horse.
We could care less about the dog. There are those who’s job it is to worry with the dog, and it’s not us. We have our hands full.
PLEASE cease and desist with the commentary on the dogs, how they should be treated, your insights into dog psychology, etc. When we have FACTS to share about the dog that injured her, or the character of the owner, or why it’s evil, or whether it will or wont’ be put down, or what kind of dog food it eats, we will certainly do so. Until then, the conjecture just takes time from those of us who have to moderate the comments. EVERY SINGLE comment on EVERY SINGLE photo or blog post gets read by us, in order to respond to questions about Zephyra. In short, it’s a waste of our time to come back every five minutes just to respond to an evil dog comment and it’s exhausting us, mentally and physically when there are more important things to deal with during this crisis.
Let it go, people. We’re here to save a horse. Reserve your own living room or your own Facebook page for conversations about the dog, please.
Now, since I promised you facts about the dog, here are the FACTS we can confirm.
That’s all anyone knows at this time for sure. ANYTHING else is conjecture. As soon as animal control contacts us to let us know the status of their investigation we will certainly share it with you.
On a personal note:
I think I speak for myself, my wife Amy, Cindy, and the owners of the horse when I say we all love dogs. At least three and maybe all four of us, have rescue dogs of our own that have been saved from being put to sleep at the shelter. We adore and dote on our dogs like family members. We do NOT dislike dogs at all.
It is a fact that sometimes dogs attack other animals. Why, what they were thinking, and their mental reasoning for doing it is not something any of us, or you, can state with 100% certainty. It’s conjecture, and we don’t have the time right now to invest in conjecture. We barely have enough time to handle the donation campaign and treating poor Zephyra. So please, for OUR SAKES, give the dog conversations a rest, ok?
Editor’s Note: I originally was given her name as Zephra. The correct spelling is “Zephyra.”
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