Rescue group saves abandoned newborn foal in Arizona

Rescue group saves abandoned newborn foal in Arizona
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group said it rescued an abandoned newborn foal near Mesa, Arizona earlier this week.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An abandoned newborn foal was rescued near Mesa, AZ earlier this week.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group said a person called their hotline Monday, July 2 after finding a premature foal.

Since no other horses were found in the area, the group rushed the foal in for treatment.

While dehydrated, overheated and underweight, the foal's medical tests came back fine.

"He is not septic and has no broken bones," the SRWHMG said in a Facebook post. "He weighs only 33 pounds and cannot regulate his own temperature."

The group said the newborn is sleeping a lot but wakes every hour to let them know he is hungry.

"It did not take long for him to steal our hearts, so please help us hope that he makes it," the SRWHMG said.

The group, a non-profit organization based in Scottsdale, is dedicated to protecting and preserving the Salt River horses.

A large herd -- estimates are at least 100 horses -- live along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, which is east of Phoenix.

About three years ago, federal officials set off a firestorm after announcing their intention to remove the herd from the land the animals had roamed for more than 100 years.

Public outrage ensured and the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, along with others, jumped into action.

Years later, the horses were allowed to stay on the land and legislation was passed to ensure their protection.

The SRWHMG, with its 100 volunteers, monitors the horses on a daily basis.

"This fight has been about keeping a small piece of wild for future generations to come, and managing it humanely and responsibly," the group said on its website. "When we started this campaign for their freedom we had no idea that it would touch hundreds of thousands of Arizonans and Americans so deeply."

In late June, the SRWHMG warned the drought is threatening the herd and volunteers have been leaving hay for the animals.

With little to no naturally growing grasses to graze on, they said the horses are losing weight and starting to struggle.

"If we would not be feeding them right now, that pair would die. Absolutely without a doubt," said Simone Netherlands with the SRWHMG, referencing a skinny mare and foal eating at one of the feed sites.

You can donate to help the cause HERE.

If you want to learn how to find and photograph the horses, go HERE.

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