The heroic pony story of Bella and her foal Butterscotch was witnessed by firefighters who were called to a barn fire in Alvarado, Texas, at the beginning of this month. When the firefighters arrived at the barn that the mother-daughter pony duo lived in, they saw the devastating picture of dead sheep and chicken that had died in the fire. According to an April 22 WCSC report, the firefighters did not only find destruction and death in the barn fire -- but also a miracle.
As firefighters were fighting the flames in the Alvarado barn and encountered the dead barn animals, they discovered to their amazement a mother pony and her two-week-old foal in one of the corners of the barn. As debris from the fierce barn fire was falling down, and flames were engulfing the mother-daughter duo, the mother pony was standing over her foal.
The April 6 barn fire had started in the early morning hours after a heating lamp in a nearby barn stall had shorted and ignited an electrical fire. By the time the firefighters could battle the flames, it had already roared swiftly through the building and taken the lives of the animals. Among the flames, the firefighters encountered the heroic mother pony who had backed her foal into a corner in the barn blocking the flames and falling debris from her foal. If the fire was going to take their lives, it was going to kill mom first.
Bella sustained major burns from the fire. Her foal Butterscotch escaped with minor injuries. Being unable to provide the kind of expensive care that it would take to help the mother-daughter duo, their owners tearfully handed the two over to the Humane Society of North Texas in the hope that the organization could save the life of the brave mother pony.
According to the Humane Society of North Texas, Bella had suffered “severe burns to the majority of her body and the billowing smoke that she had inhaled scorched her lungs.” After the barn fire, both ponies were rushed to an equine specialist, but there was little hope that Bella could recover from the life-threatening burns which she sustained over the majority of her body while protecting her foal.
The heroic mother pony – despite all odds – has made amazing progress due to intensive care management. Bella is receiving around-the-clock medical care with twice a day painful treatments to prevent the burns from becoming a skin infection. Her foal Butterscotch is doing extremely well and is staying close to her mother. Whitney Hanson of the Humane Society of North Texas reported that the treatments for Bella at the equine clinic are turning out to be more costly than previously expected, and that the organization is looking for donations for the heroic pony. In regard to Bella’s brave behavior during and after the fire, Hanson said that “the only reason that she survived and pulled through this is because she loves that baby so much and she wants to be here for the baby.”