A Los Gatos girl who adopted an abandoned horse in March of 2009 is finding it harder to care for the animal due to its advancing age, expensive diet and veterinary care and is now reaching out to the public to get donations and support.
Madison Garliepp, 14, an incoming sophomore at , posted a photo of herself with her horse Faith on our pics and clips gallery asking readers to help her equestrian friend.
The animal, who's said to be in its late 20s, is doing OK, but she needs a regular shoer, a saddle, special food since it can't eat hay after losing its molars, and hopefully a better place to stay where she can roam freely with other horses, explained mom Melody Garliepp.
Faith also needs regular veterinarian visits, which can be expensive, mom said, adding that horses can live into their mid 30s.
The animal, which was originally kept on a ranch on rural Shannon Road in Los Gatos, is now home with the Garliepp family after her stall rent was increased to $300, plus food before Christmas 2011.
The family moved the animal to their home, which is also on Shannon Road, on New Year's Day since it had nowhere else to take her and could not afford the increase.
Madison fell in love with Faith when she visited the ranch to watch the horses that stay there due to her love for the animals and found out from the rancher that Faith's owner had bordered the animal there, but abandoned her after not paying her stall rent.
"He was waiting to get the papers to have her put down because he couldn't afford to care for an abandoned animal, so she (Madison) pleaded with me and we allowed her to keep it," said mom.
Another family also agreed to help Madison pay for the horse's expenses, however, that family can no longer help.
Madison has raised a lot of money to care for Faith—about $10,000. She's sold her books and other belongings and has asked for donations at her family's store, 15695 Los Gatos Blvd.
Madison cares for the horse everyday, which brings her much happiness, but her mother said horses are pack animals and don't like to be alone making it sad to watch the animal struggle with isolation issues.
The animal also needs more space to run and exercise and the family's property is small, Melody Garliepp said.
Ideally Madison would like to find a sanctuary for Faith so she has room to run and can be around other horses. "It's not an ideal situation where she's at," Melody Garliepp said. "We don't have a lot of money ourselves, but we make do because we didn't have anywhere else to put her."
The horse is said to be in good physical health, except her legs are weak and the family doesn't know what's wrong with them. "We've never had the money to get them x-rayed to find out what the problem is. She has a hard time turning," Melody Garliepp added.
Those interested in helping can call at 408-358-7410 or email email@example.com.
The Los Gatos Youth Science Institute features the horse's plight on its partners page on its website, which indicates free recycling of e-waste (computers, printers, cartridges, etc.) with a donation can be made at the business to help Faith.