Last year at this time we were called about an emaciated Thoroughbred who was running around Watts in L.A. in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. People were throwing things at him to scare him, and cars were dodging him running in the street. Finally, a kind person corralled him in their yard and called the police. It was raining so hard and the horse was so cold that the person put a trash bag over him to try to protect him from the storm.
Two officers responded, and spent the majority of the day with this scared boy until Animal Control could get out there to pick him up. They removed the wire that had been wrapped around his neck and kept him calm. Not knowing what to call him, they named him Lou Dillon after the street he was found on. Eventually, Animal Control was able to pick him up and take him to the shelter. He was 600 lbs. underweight!
The officers, however, were concerned about what would happen to this horse. They called a few local rescues, but no one had room. Then they reached out to Hanaeleh, and we said we could take him as long as we were able to raise the funds to keep him. Thankfully, our generous supporters helped us raise the money we needed, and Lou Dillon was rescued by Hanaeleh!
It took several months to put weight on Lou Dillon.
We not only had to help him put on weight, but we also had to help him rebuild the muscle tone he had lost. He lost a lot of his hair after the first few months, but that was only because his body was finally growing in a new, healthy coat. His feet were not terribly overgrown, but they were soft and had evidence of starvation, but now they are healthy and solid. He is doing well barefoot and loves to run around in the arena.
After a year, we have seen a huge change in Lou Dillon’s personality. He was stand-offish at first, and was very scared when he was being exercised in the round pen or arena. It took a few months before he would walk around in the round pen, not afraid that we were going to hurt him or make him run around. Now he just runs around for fun!
When he first came to Hanaeleh, we gave him some grain, and he looked at it with confusion, not really knowing what it was. He ate a few bites, and discovered it was delicious! Now he not only loves his grain, but he makes silly faces at us when we are stirring water into it, letting us know how much he wants it!
He didn’t really know how to take treats from people, but now he is an expert at taking carrots, apples, celery, treats- pretty much anything!
In the beginning, Lou Dillon would tense up when we groomed him, but now he relaxes and seems to enjoy his grooming sessions. He is usually great at the tie rail (unless he sees his best friend Quixote and wants to say hi), and stands patiently while being prettied up!
When we first got Lou Dillon, he was closed off and didn’t really seem to connect much with people. He was afraid of men especially. Elizabeth had to stand with him when he got his feet done because he was so scared that he would be hurt by Josh, our farrier- now, he knows he will get a treat and that Josh will never hurt him.
Lou Dillon also has a horsie best friend in Quixote (they love hanging out with each other, and Lou loves taking Quixote’s fly mask and cribbing collar off!). He also loves hanging out with his LAPD officer friends, Officer Yanez and Officer Dibell, who visit him every month!
Lou Dillon is enjoying his new life at Hanaeleh, and we want to make sure to thank all of those people who helped us save him. A giant thank you to all of those who helped give him a brand new life!
Here’s a pictorial timeline to see how far he’s come.