FREEPORT — Eight months after rescuing a severely abused pregnant horse, staff members at Alaqua Animal Refuge welcomed her newborn filly Tuesday.
The horse, named Parish, gave birth in a pasture overnight. She allowed staff members to help her baby to stand and nurse for the first time.
"She had literally almost been ridden to death," Alaqua founder Laurie Hood said of Parish, who is still distrustful of people. "She's physically in great shape (now) but still bears the scars of those wounds."
The pregnant horse was rescued from Louisiana after last summer's floods. She'd been taken in during the investigation into her abuse, but was sent to Alaqua to make room for horses displaced by the floods.
"We were able to take the very worst cases," Hood said. "They were all on death's door."
Alaqua, which is on a large parcel of land west of Freeport, regularly rescues larger animals as well as dogs and cats. But Hood said it has never been able to "catch" one of their farm animals giving birth.
She added that they are thankful that Parish allowed them to help her newborn into the barn Tuesday morning.
The baby is named Landry after the parish (St. Landry) her mother was rescued from last August.
Once the filly is more mature, both the mother and daughter will be available for adoption.