I started writing this blog when I’d had Tilodi for a few days. Unfortunately, after having her for two weeks, I’ve had to make the tough decision to euthanize her. Here’s Tilodi’s story, because it deserves to be told.

One of the core aspects of our mission is to be a sanctuary for Off The Track Thoroughbreds. I have several friends who also have a mission to save Thoroughbreds, particularly from the kill pens. I truly believe there are undercover angels out there and two of them are named Nicole and Lynn.

Nicole contacted me about a mare in a Kansas kill pen that needed a home. Her owner had terminal cancer and the lady’s family sold her horses at auction. The problem today is that most horses sold at auction don’t end up going to loving homes, they end up in kill pens and shipped to Mexico unless someone else steps up to advocate for them.

I am not necessarily a believer in saving kill pen horses because it provides the kill pen buyers with more money to buy more horses to ship to slaughter. However, I also don’t believe that a mare that was a winner on the track with over $67,000 in earnings belongs on a truck to Mexico. So, when Nicole contacted me having already got the funds to bail her and ship her to me, I was more than happy to give her a home.

Tilodi is a Kentucky-bred mare by the sire E Dubai. Out of her 10 starts, she won 5 with a lifetime earnings of $67,944. In fact, she retired off a win at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and went on to be a broodmare. She was bred to Woke Up Dreamin and her 2018 filly sold for $10,000 at the Iowa Thoroughbred Owner and Breeders’ Association.

She arrived at the barn on a rainy Monday night. She was doing very good and eating well for the first few days. I started to notice that she was quidding when she ate, which means clumps of food were falling out of her mouth. I called the vet to set an appointment to get her teeth done. She then began to get some swelling in her cheek. I moved the vet appointment up to be as soon as he could come. Over the weekend, the swelling progressed very badly to the point you couldn’t get your fingers in her mouth. We started her on antibiotics and lanced an abscess under her cheek. Instead of improving quickly, she continued to get worse and then eventually went down. Her poor body just couldn’t sustain her any longer. She was tired and not taking care of herself by drinking water or anything.

After spending most of the day Friday babysitting her up and down, we made the decision to let her rest permanently. It was a hard decision and she was trying hard to fight, but she had done all she could do and I couldn’t let her suffer. As soon as the vet pulled into the drive, she got up one last time and went around to each of us for pets. She was telling us goodbye and thank you.

This same day, my friend Nicole was busy trying to save another mare, named Zodiacal Light, that was in the same kill pen. She had a place for her to go, but she was trying to fundraise the rest of her transport. Miraculously, someone donated the rest of the amount for her transportation to the rescue. Additionally, I was contacted by another owner the same day about a mare, named Ice Cold, that the owner wants to responsibly retire. We decided that Tilodi was an angel as well, for both Zodiacal Light and Ice Cold.

My plea to everyone, however, is that if you have animals – any kind of animal from your dog or cat to your horses, please have a plan for where they will go should you get sick or pass away. Please plan ahead for their sakes. No animal should have to go through what Tilodi went through.

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