A PETA fieldworker was delivering doghouses and straw bedding to vulnerable dogs in rural North Carolina when she spotted a little black-and-white horse all alone in a muddy, ramshackle pen littered with broken boards and his own waste. Sebastian had no food, water, or shelter and was suffering from a severe disfiguring injury to his face. His owner was aware that he was unable to care for the disabled horse properly, and he agreed to give him up so that Sebastian could have a better life.
We’re not sure what happened to Sebastian’s face. All we know is what the veterinarian told us: The tiny horse had sustained a blunt-force injury years ago that had left him with partial paralysis that affects his face and a hind leg. He was also suffering from a serious eye infection that had gone untreated for some time.
We took Sebastian to a local farm owned by a longtime PETA member, where he received treatment for his eye infection. He quickly showed marked improvement. Unfortunately, the damage to his face is permanent—but don’t tell him that. As far as he is concerned, he’s the handsomest horse in the barnyard! His disability causes him no pain and only minor discomfort. (He dribbles a bit when he eats and drinks.) And despite his limp, he can run like the wind. Albeit a short, brisk wind—more like a gust.
When Sebastian was well enough to travel, we loaded him into a truck and transported him across the country to his permanent home in New Mexico with another longtime PETA supporter. He traveled like a champ and, upon arriving, immediately set about trying to charm the other residents of the farm, including a playful pig and a herd of curious goats—with a great deal of success, we might add. He also celebrated his arrival at his new home by kicking up his heels and rolling around in the dirt.
Sebastian will spend the rest of his life surrounded by friends and receiving all the adoration and care that a ruggedly handsome 3-foot-tall horse rightfully commands. Welcome home, Sebastian!
To learn more about PETA’s work to help horses, please attend our next quarterly telephone town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 17, at 7 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. PDT). You’ll be able to interact with key PETA staff, get the latest news on current campaigns and recent victories, and have an opportunity to ask questions. To make sure you receive advance notice of this and future meetings, please visit PETA.org/TownHall.