Starving horse burned in wildfires dies
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Saturday, August 11, 2012
8/11/12 at 5:03 AM
See photo slideshows of the fire and its damage, view aerial video from Saturday’s inferno and read previous stories.
OLIVE - Efforts to save a starving horse that was left to fend for himself in this week's wildfires were valiant, but the horse didn't live much longer after it was rescued Monday.
Belinda Wheeler said she got the horse to a veterinarian, but he collapsed when she got him out of the trailer.
"The vet worked on him over an hour. I sat on the ground and petted him and told him I was sorry we didn't find him sooner," Wheeler said. "He sure fought."
The vet thought the horse was about 18 years old.
The horse had burns on his face, feet and legs, but Wheeler said he probably could have recovered from his burns if he had not been in such a weakened condition from malnutrition.
"Whoever had him had starved him. The (Oklahoma Highway Patrol) wants to find out who it was," she said.
Billy Palmore had discovered the injured horse staggering down the road.
Wheeler said Palmore told her he looked up and saw a "walking dead horse."
The horse approached Palmore and put his head on his chest.
Wheeler said Palmore knew he had to do something, so he walked the horse down the road and placed it in Kelly Farmer's corral, where it collapsed.
Wheeler, Palmore and Farmer worked diligently to get the horse up and into Wheeler's trailer, but the horse collapsed again at the veterinarian's.
Wheeler is a horse owner and travels on a rodeo circuit.
She said she received several calls for help with horses after the Tulsa World published her phone number in a story about the fires Tuesday.
Cleveland, Okla., resident Brenda Williams of Oklahoma Rescue Rangers probably saved 150 horses this week, Wheeler said.
"We saved some dogs and other horses and helped some people find hay. I had three people call and want to pay that horse's vet bills," she said.
Original Print Headline: Malnourished horse burned in fire dies
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381
Belinda Wheeler (left), Kelly Farmer and Billy Palmore work to get a burned horse to stand up so they could get it to Wheeler's trailer Monday. The horse, which was malnourished before it was burned in the Creek County wildfires, was taken to a veterinarian for medical help, but it succumbed to its injuries shortly after, Wheeler said. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World