December 2016 Issue - page 11

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
December 2016
Page 11
Enter Kelly Smith of Omega
Horse Rescue and Rehabilita-
tion Center in Airville, Pa., who
heard about the wreck on social
media and called Rotz, whom
she knows from the New Holland
auction in Lancaster.
“It was very hard to see the
accident pictures,” said Smith,
who has been involved in horse
rescue for 26 years. “It was hard
to imagine they would have to go
through another trailer ride to be
tagged and weighed for slaughter
and endure yet another trailer ride
to Canada.”
Rotz, a former USDA-li-
censed “random source” dog
dealer who sold dogs for re-
search, has in more recent years
become one of the biggest “kill
buyers” of horses in the east.
It was not the first time
Rotz’s slaughter-bound horses
were victims of a deadly mis-
hap. In 2013, 30 of his horses
perished when the tractor-trailer
hauling them to Canada caught
fire on an interstate in upstate
New York.
After initially balking at the
sale of the latest wreck survivors,
Smith eventually convinced him
to sell the doomed horses for
$13,000.
Like all large-scale equine
rescues, the hard part comes next.
Finding foster homes, training,
and of course, forever homes for
horses who not only were likely
neglected by their pre-auction
owners, but who also suffered
the terrible trauma of the trailer
accident.
Smith, after consulting a
veterinarian, had to euthanize one
badly injured horse and another
that was deemed too feral to
rehabilitate. A third died of her
injuries.
Of the remaining 18, three
were turned over to a thorough-
bred rescue, Life Horse, in Mary-
land. Several have been adopted.
A few are in foster care and at
Smith’s barn. Omega is paying
for others to board elsewhere.
The horses, mainly paint
mares and quarter horses, are
mostly between three and 10
years old, appeared to have been
used as broodmares and had little
handling or training, said Nikki
Dalesandro Scherrer, a veterinar-
ian at New Bolton Center, who
volunteers as a trainer for Omega.
“The paints are the most
psychologically damaged because
they were in front of the truck,
which took most of the impact,”
she said. “There was less turmoil
in the back.”
But physically the survivors
are in good shape, said Dalesan-
dro Scherrer, giving a visitor a
(Continued from page 10)
(Continued on page 29)
Horses Survive
Horrific Wreck
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