Meet Dahlia, a spunky mule that has been residing at the HSVC since mid-January. Dahlia was brought to the shelter by Humane Officers after they responded to a complaint regarding a 6-year-old female mule with severely overgrown hooves in unincorporated Ventura County.
Upon arrival at the property, our Officers saw the mule had “slipper foot”, a common condition in which an animal's hooves resembled elf shoes. The mule had approximately 6-8 inches of overgrowth on each foot (pictured left). After working with Officer Utter, the owner made the decision that it was in the animal’s best interest to be surrendered to the shelter for proper care.
In mid-January, a team including Humane Investigations Director King, Humane Officer Utter, Humane Officer-in-training Derringer, Humane Officer-in-training Gonzalez, and Equine Specialist Christina Malleck drove to the location with an HSVC truck and stock trailer to bring Dahlia back to the shelter. She is not very socialized, so the staff had to pull the trailer right up to the gate and work carefully to secure the mule. The mini mule, later named Dahlia by Officer Utter, was loaded into the trailer safely and was transported back to the shelter.
Above left: Humane Investigations Director King, Humane Officer Utter, and Equine Specialist Christina Malleck secure Dahlia in the trailer for transport.
Above right: Equine Specialist Christina Malleck leads Dahlia out of the trailer after arriving at the shelter.
Our staff worked with Dr. April Armstrong and farrier Stacy Hyatt to get the mini mule the care she desperately needed. Having little to no socialization, Dahlia had to be fully anesthetized for the farrier to work on her feet (above). This was done in two sessions about a week apart to limit the amount of stress Dahlia had to go through. The amount of hoof that was able to be taken off was considerable.
We are proud to say that Dahlia's condition has greatly improved since coming to the shelter. She is still extremely skittish, but our staff is doing everything they can to help her feel safe, comfortable, and loved.
"Dahlia is going to take a bit of time to trust people, but I have no doubt Christina will be able to earn it. All the shelter staff made a great team, and we can’t wait to see Dahlia flourish here until she finds her forever home," said Humane Investigations Director King. We will continue to share Dahlia's progress over time until she finds her happily ever after.
You can support Dahlia's journey to find her forever home by donating now. Your contribution will help us continue to provide medical care, food, and more for Dahlia and all of our shelter animals. Thank you for your continued support!
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