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Horse taken in by Derry Township rescue succumbs to starvation

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Fox Run Equine Center veterinarian Brian Burks examines an emaciated horse Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, near a quarantine barn run by Second Chance Equine Association. The horse, renamed Rosie, was found walking along a Derry Township road.

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By Kate Wilcox
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Despite being rescued and receiving care, an emaciated horse found last week along a Derry Township road died on Sunday morning.

The horse, renamed Rosie by the Second Chance Equine Association, a Norvelt-based rescue and rehabilitation organization, was so thin that many of her bones jutted out. She was found along Atlantic Road by a passerby, said Jan Dillon of the Humane Society of Westmoreland County.

“Sometimes when they come to us there's not enough there for us to save,” said Bryce LeJeune, president of Second Chance.

Rosie was taken to Second Chance's quarantine barn and examined by a veterinarian when she was found.

Dillon said the doctor pulled 41 ticks off the “very skinny,” reddish-brown quarter horse, estimated to be about 20 years old.

The horse spent much of Tuesday lying under donated blankets to raise her body temperature and consuming electrolytes, hay and warm water.

Friday, she was able to stand and eat grass on her own. Volunteers were working to get the horse's weight up so medical care could proceed. But by Sunday, Rosie didn't have any strength left.

LeJeune said the starvation that Rosie endured before making it to the rescue was a major factor in her death.

“We gave her a few days of food and she was warm,” he said. “We did everything we could possibly do.”

LeJeune said the horse's owner has been identified but it is up to the Humane Society to decide what to do next.

Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or Reporter Renatta Signorini contributed to this article.

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