A Rolling Hills Estates woman who saved a premature miniature horse from certain death is now asking for the public's help in covering some of the filly's medical bills.
At the beginning of March, Deborah Melzak Gorney rescued a grown female minature horse from a "bad situation" and was told by the previous owners that the horse was simply fat and not actually pregnant.
To Melzak Gorney's surprise, on March 6, the miniature horse delivered a premature baby girl in her backyard barn.
"When she delivered that tiny little filly in my barn and I saw the tiny baby laying on the cold ground not moving, just shivering, I wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms until the vet came," Melzak Gorney recalled.
After a 6-hour visit from the veterinarian, it became clear that the newborn would die unless it was rushed to an equine hospital intenstive care unit. The filly, named 'Baby Angel' by Melzak Gorney, was brought to the Chino Valley Equine Hospital where she has been on a steady drip of plasma and antibiotics for the past 12 days.
"We could not afford this, but we just could not let this poor innocent baby die," Melzak Gorney said. "I really can't explain it but it was like a miracle that happened in my barn – the miracle of life – and even though we couldn't afford it we took her to the hospital so we could help that helpless little baby live."
While the hospital saved Baby Angel's life, the cost of treatment has placed a financial strain on Melzak Gorney. Each day spent in the hospital costs approximately $1,000 and Melzak Gorney said she has maxed out all of her credit cards to cover costs.
In the hopes of covering some of the costs of saving Baby Angel, Melzak Gorney started an online fundraising page and has already raised about $2,800 or her $8,000 goal.
"The vet says if we bring her home she will surely die, but we just can't afford to keep her there... I am devastated since our family already loves this little filly so much," Melzak Gorney wrote. "The bills are piling up but thanks to the generosity of a few kind people that I don't even know, we have been able to keep her in the hospital and give her the proper care."
Since Baby Angel's admission to the hospital, Melzak Gorney said the horse's condition has slowly improved. On Sunday, the horse stood up in front of its mother and has also learned how to drink from a water bowl, Melzak Gorney said. When fully recovered, Baby Angel will return to Melzak Gorney's home in Rolling Hills Estates.
"Baby is doing better each day; she actually acted like a little foal yesterday and shows huge signs of improvement," Melzak Gorney said. "She will be able to come home soon we hope."
Donations for Baby Angel's medical care can be made via Melzak Gorney's online fundraising page.