A heroic pony by the name of “Bella” is being credited with actions attributable to any worthy parent – that of protecting her young from danger. Bella and her two-week old foal Butterscotch were caught in a barn fire in early April. The Alvarado, Texas barn caught fire and a number of barn animals were killed, but Bella stood firm and protected her offspring from the searing heat, suffering severe burns in the process.
According to KHOU.com out of Texas, Bella used her body to shield Butterscotch from the advancing flames. While both mother and foal survived, the ponies are being treated for burns by the Humane Society. More than half of Bella’s body was burned, and she was injured as well by falling debris.
Firefighters who were battling the blaze said they came across multiple chickens and sheep that had perished, but were amazed to see that Bella had backed her foal into the corner of the stable and was standing over her, protecting her. “She actually kind of backed the baby into the corner and stood over her and shielded her from the fire and the debris that was falling,” said Whitney Hanson of the Humane Society of North Texas.
Hanson said the pair have been recovering for weeks now, and are inseparable. “The only reason [Bella] survived and pulled through this is because she loves that baby so much, and she wants to be here for the baby,” Hanson said. Bella and Butterscotch both have a long road of recovery yet ahead of them however. The mother-daughter duo is being treated at a stable in Decatur, where they receive medication, skin treatments and constant disinfecting and cleaning of their stalls so that infection does not set in.
Hanson said the unnamed owner of the ponies, though caring for them well, was forced to give them up because the cost to treat their injurious would be far too expensive. Now, the Humane Society of North Texas is saying that in about four months, barring any setback, the ponies will be put up for adoption. The group is also asking for the public's help to raise the $4,000 they think will be needed for the recovery effort.
A web page set up by the Humane Society of North Texas details the incident:
In the early morning hours of April 6th, a heating lamp in a nearby barn stall shorted and started an electrical fire that roared swiftly through the small building and caused life-threatening burns over the majority of Bella's body.
In the wake of the fire, Bella's devastated family realized that they were unable to care for her extreme injuries and tearfully reached out to the Humane Society of North Texas in hopes that we could save her life and the life of their beloved pony. When we arrived, it was clear that Bella's prognosis was bleak. She suffered severe burns to the majority of her body and the billowing smoke that she had inhaled scorched her lungs. We rushed the pair to the care of an equine specialist, fearing the worst.
The Humane Society says that Bella has made “amazing progress thanks to the meticulous, around-the-clock medical care provided by our dedicated staff and volunteers.” Despite the progress, both Bella and Butterscotch have “several months of intensive, and expensive, care” ahead of them.
If you are in a position to help the Humane Society reach their $4,000 funding goal, please see the links above.