Saving Esperanza Featured

Esperanza, the horse, standing next to a tree with green leaves in the background

As part of her ongoing work to document street dogs in Mexico, award-winning photographer and CANDi International Board Member Tracey Buyce stumbled across a seriously injured horse this past July with the help of CANDi Board Member, Hector Navarro. Tracey was photographing stray dogs when she came across a run-down recycling center in the poorer outskirts of Cancun, known to be a gathering place for abandoned dogs. The horse was inside the center, in a small stall, under extremely bad conditions. She had also suffered serious leg injuries, due to a vicious Rottweiler attack a month earlier. The wounds were left untreated and the horse, named "Esperanza” or "Hope" in Spanish, was at risk of losing the infected limb—and possibly it’s life.

“Esperanza,” named by volunteer and Hector who escorted and accompanied Tracey in Cancun, is a sweet-tempered 4 to 6 year-old mare. Both Tracey and Hector were shocked to find that her owner was unwilling to seek medical attention for her. In order to get Esperanza the immediate care and treatment she needed, they had to offer to buy the horse from the owner.

Esperanza’s owner was unwilling to relinquish ownership of the horse, but changed his mind for the price of $800 U.S. CANDi later discovered that the horse was given away to the owners of the recycling center for “disposal” by her original owner after she endured the violent attack, but the recycling center’s proprietors decided to keep her anyway. The veterinary costs to save her were estimated at $600 U.S., so the CANDi team started an urgent appeal to fundraise from the ground. Generous donations poured in, and the horse was transported the following day to a veterinary center, where she had surgery on her infected leg. The operation was a success, and Esperanza’s leg—and life—were saved!

Esperanza’s good luck did not end there. Hector Navarro’s friend, Karla Argote, was recovering from her own recent loss. By a twist of fate, Karla’s horse had passed away only the previous week. Karla was willing to open her heart and home to Esperanza, who is now at the beautiful ranch with 30 other new horse friends. Karla has started to rehabilitate Esperanza and use her as a therapy horse for children with disabilities.

With Esperanza in Karla’s care, she has found a forever home and the hope of a better life through CANDi International’s team of volunteers.

Click here to see Tracey's photos of Esperanza's injuries and rescue.

Esperanza Update: Esperanza is looking so much better! The vet still wants her to take it easy but the wound is healing nicely, and tissue granulation seems to be under control. She gained a little weight an is in very good spirits. They take her out of the stall every day and the stable hands are keeping a very close eye on her. We'll continue to share more about this special horse.

esperanza's infected leg injury

esperanza's infected leg injury is healing with proper care and treatment

esperanza in the stables being pet on the head by a woman

esperanza grazing freely in the field

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