EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Almost a year after being rescued from a Chippewa County farm a horse has a new place to call home just in time for the holidays.
It was last January that 17 horses and dozens of dogs were rescued from a farm in Cadott. Today the last animal to be saved from the farm has quite the Christmas tale to tell.
There is plenty of hay and feed to go around for Violet the horse now, but less than a year ago it was a completely different story for Violet and other horses rescued from Betty Damerow’s farm.
“The horses were in fairly good disposition and health. It was just a situation where there was too many horses and not enough shelters, food and water,” Sandy Gilbert with Refuge Farms said.
After Violet and the other horses were taken from Damerow's farm volunteers worked to get them ready for new homes.
“Violet is truly the last of those horses to be adopted,” Gilbert explained.
After all the other horses went to good homes, the final four hooves found their forever home on Christmas day.
“I was really surprised,” Karly Erickson said just minutes after being surprised by her dad on Christmas and given Violet.
Karly Erickson and her sister McKenzie found the horse online and worked on adoption paperwork with their dad, but the process was slowed when he was diagnosed earlier this month with Bell’s Palsy, a form of facial paralysis.
“All I wanted for Christmas this year was my dad’s health back,” McKenzie Erickson said.
Wednesday’s horse surprise also carried a special meeting for Sandy Gilbert, Santa's little helper that helped with Violet's rescue and Wednesday’s delivery
“It was 1978 which was 35 years ago that I was riding with my mother and she put her head in my lap and she died on Christmas,” Gilbert explained. “The thing that made me want to do this today was my mom's name was Violet.”
Sandy says she couldn't think of a better way to honor her mother, than to give to others this Christmas day.
For Violet the horse and her new owner Karly, today is the start of a lifelong friendship.
“It’s just a close to a huge rescue a huge situation,” Gilbert says.