Alum works overtime to help abused, neglected horses

May 14, 2013
By Bill Krueger

It was for the love of Lacey that Brittany Saad started a non-profit rescue program for horses with medical conditions that have no other option.

“Lacey was my first rescue horse,” she says. “She had the biggest heart and when we lost her due to ulcers rupturing, I knew then that I was going to rescue horses like her that had no one to speak up for them and give them a chance.”

Lacey used to be a show horse. She developed a condition called Laminitis, which affects a horse’s hooves, and was then left outside to die until Saad found her. “No veterinarian could believe that she was alive,” she says. “Her X-rays were some of the most gruesome that they had seen and no other horse would have survived.”

Love of Lacey Equine Rescue, Saad’s non-profit organization, is named for this beloved horse. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Lacey and how much I miss her,” she says. “It is the extreme love for her and her love for life that I rescue horses.”

Saad, a 2006 NC State graduate, stays busy with her organization, which is based in Wake County. “I work with ten rescues, soon to be 11 when a foal is born this month,” she says. Saad was encouraged to begin her journey with her own horse rescue program after the death of her father. “When my dad passed away in August, I had to have something more to do with my life,” she says. “So I chose to help my life by doing what I love more than anything … and start my rescue.”

Saad knows her dad would approve. “He always told me I was going to have a rescue someday,” she says. “(He) really inspired me through my life with following my dreams and was always going to the barn with me. This is a dream come true.”

Saad works a full-time job as a veterinarian technician at Hilltop Animal Hospital in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and cares for her ten rescues – horses that have been abused or neglected – and her own three horses every night. Her healing methods include gentle therapy and trust-building exercises that make the horses who have known mostly fear feel comfortable with her. “They have been neglected or abused by people,” she says. “Treats are a great way to show pleasurable responses to these guys as they are very food motivated.”

The length of time a horse spends with Saad is dependent on the kind of life the horse had before. “Horses that have been raced or over-ridden get a minimum of six months just learning to be a horse – eating, playing, just getting to have some time off,” she says. “They need to just get love and be a happy, grazing, playing horse. It is good therapy for their mind … they normally have not had that privilege in their lifetime.”

Love of Lacey mostly survives on fundraisers and donations. Adoption fees, which start at $400 a horse, also go back into funding the rescue. “The horses are adopted (by) homes that have been approved for horses and we hold partial ownership of the horses as a security measure,” she says. “This prevents the horse from being sold or given away.”

Saad loves her job and her work with horses, and  hopes to go to veterinarian school and major in equine medicine in the near future.  “It will certainly make things much more difficult but I am not a person that can just do one thing,” she says. “I don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not being pulled in five directions.”

— Molly Green

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