The summer of 2016 was hot and dry, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at these horses’ living conditions. It was the 1st of June and the winter mud was still knee deep in many areas of the one-acre parcel that the eight of them were living on.
“I do a lot of work on Freddie Mac foreclosure properties,” explained real estate broker Deborah Dunham of the Greene Realty Group. “It’s never a good situation when a property ends up in foreclosure, but some situations are so heartbreaking that they really stay with you.”
As tragic as it is to watch people going through foreclosure, it’s even more upsetting to see what can happen when innocent animals are left behind to fend for themselves.
“When I finally got access to the property, I found four Arabian mares, ranging in age from five to 20 years old, four Arabian stallions, from six to 13 years of age, 13 pug dogs, most with special needs, some blind and deaf, and a fish,” Deborah explained. “The horses were in very rough shape; their hooves were the size of pie plates, many abscessed from the years of standing in mud, and they were all close to emaciated.”
Dunham quickly got to work helping these animals. With the help of one of her sub-contractors and his crew, she re-homed all of the pugs within a couple days and traveled to the property twice a day to deliver much needed food to the horses. She also vaccinated and wormed them all. Luckily, she’s an experienced horsewoman, and she set about networking through her contacts to find homes for the horses. All eight horses needed to be moved quickly from the property to avoid an auction situation.
Having acreage of her own, she brought in help and went to work repairing and securing the fencing needed to safely board the eight additional horses on her property. None of these animals had much experience with handling, which was going to make it difficult to move them. Upon her daily visits to the property to feed them, she was able to secure halters on each animal, and work on the basic idea of leading.
Moving day was interesting and a bit stressful, but with the help of her experienced horseshoer/trainer, five trips later, they all were safely at Dunham’s property. The four horses easiest to handle were placed with new loving homes quite quickly, leaving four horses to live with her. After investing countless hours and dollars rehabbing the horses, she’s thrilled to report that she’s down to two remaining horses needing forever families.
“Black” is a stunning 14.3 hand, 13-year-old Arabian stallion, whom she plans on gelding this spring and “Mamacita” is a beautiful, loving 14.3 hand, 20-year-old chestnut Arab mare. For more information, or to meet these horses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also looking for a new home is “Mumbles,” a 17 hand, 25-year-old Saddelbred chestnut gelding whose owner had to move into an assisted living situation, leaving yet another four-legged friend with Dunham to find a new family.
Please join us in thanking Deborah Dunham for stepping up to help these animals during a very difficult time!
Dunham is an Olympia native and has been active in the horse community for over 47 years. As a child, she participated in 4H, advancing to Class A International Riding. She has worked in the local real estate industry for over 27 years, and shares her life with her husband, three horses, two burros, three dogs, four fish (one of which was left on the counter at the above foreclosed home), ducks, chickens, African geese, an emu and a barn cat. She’s well versed in the needs of animals and she’s ready to help you find the perfect place for your herd, pack, or flock!