Every Wednesday, the KHTS Adopt a Pet series features an adoptable animal from the Santa Clarita Valley in need of a home. The KHTS Features team travels to different rescues and shelters in Santa Clarita to meet the pets and tell their stories in hopes of helping them get adopted. First launched in August 2016, the series has partnered with seven local rescues, as well as the Castaic Animal Shelter, to showcase more than 40 dogs, cats and bunnies, and has seen 30 — and counting — adoptions so far. The series was created by Features Director Melissa Lampert, who has more than 10 years of experience in the animal rescue world and co-founded Madeline’s Angels Pet Sanctuary in Santa Clarita in 2016.
St. Bonnie's Sanctuary | Lange Foundation
In Santa Clarita, California, there is a special place for ex polo ponies to find sanctuary. We spoke with Cathleen Trope of the Polo Pony Rescue to learn about their program. Cathy shared, "I grew up in polo, at a barn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While there are many rescues for ex racehorses, it has always bothered me that there didn't seem to be any for ex polo ponies."
The Polo Pony Rescue rescues a wide range of horses including those given up due to financial reasons or injury and those who are not mentally able to do polo. They also find ex polo ponies at livestock auctions, animal shelters, or kill lots. "We aim to provide a safety net for as many ex polo horses as possible."
When rehabilitating the horses, Cathy recommends, "lots of soaked hay pellets and avoid grain." The results pictures she shared show how this plan helps her horses regain weight. A professional trainer, farrier, massage therapist, and chiropractor help place the horses in a new training plan that suits their skill set. "We are lucky to have such a versatile trainer who can find every horse's gift and isn't tempted to stuff a square peg into a round hole."
In Santa Clarita, the Polo Pony Rescues needs to deal with some one of the most expensive prices in our nation. A single hay bale costs $17. Still, Cathy is happy to see some of her horses who were previously scared and aggressive turn into happy and talented riding companions. "Many of our adopted horses are showing successfully. We have one that came in lame on 3 of 4 legs and was so painful and angry that she was biting people. She just got a 1st and two 2nds in jumpers at a rated show with her 15-year-old owner!"
The Polo Pony Rescue has a talented group of workers. "The team we have put together here is like none that I've ever worked with before," Cathy explained. "My trainer is excellent - she can stay calm to work with the most challenging problem horses and get them back on track. We have an amazing farrier, an amazing chiropractor, and an amazing massage therapist."
One particular story sticks in Cathy's heart. Rose was a rescued 2-year-old who was almost put to sleep due to her extreme aggression. "We offered to take her and , a year later, she is in a happy home learning polo. She loves people now. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing you have completely changed the course of a horse's life."
Polo Pony Rescue
Location: Santa Clarita, California
Donate: 32500 Agua Dulce Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91390
Trailer: NOT NEEDED
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Nearly 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point during their lives. Microchip implants are an incredibly simple, inexpensive and effective way to find lost pets, keeping them out of animal shelters and getting them back where they belong: with their owners! These tiny chips serve as permanent pet identification, and they cannot be removed or damaged. Nearly 8 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year, and by supporting this practice, Santa Clarita Animal Hospital hopes to lower this number.
City of Santa Clarita, CA : Animal Control