Bria's story is one of the most dramatic and heartbreaking cases Redemption Road Rescue has ever witnessed.
Bria came into the rescue out of Carroll County, TN. When our rescuers arrived at the location and walked into the barn, Bria could have been mistaken for a dirty carpet on the barn floor. She was THAT thin, lying there looking like a bag of bones wrapped in a winter fur. Her condition was so deteriorated that it required 24 hour care, a tremendous will to live, prayers and a lot of luck to bring her through this. Not only was she near the point of death due to starvation, but she also had an injury with severe infection to her left front leg that she received while thrashing on the ground trying to get up. She was so weak that she had to be held up in a sling, suspended from our tractor, in order to stand upright. She was bundled in layers of blankets to protect from the subfreezing temperatures. However, after days of 24 hour care, and despite the tremendous amount of work put into saving her, Bria did not survive.
"There are those who come into our lives to show us how to live with light and love in the midst of insurmountable odds. Our sweet little Bria gave us that gift and more. It is with a broken heart that we have to tell you-- Bria lost her battle last night. She fought with courage and heart, but she couldn't come back from the horror of abuse and neglect she has endured over the past year. Our only solace today is that she passed peacefully a little after midnight, knowing she was warm, safe, cherished and cared for. On Bria's behalf, thank you for all of the prayers, the support, and the love you showered on her in such a short time. She touched all of us and we will never forget her. Rest in peace Bria."
- Redemption Road Rescue Facebook post, March 3, 2015
Justice was served to her former owner. She was convicted on one count of cruelty to animals and placed on 11 months and 29 days of supervised probation. She was ordered to surrender the remaining four horses and could not own or possess horses for five years. It was a step toward accountability where animal cruelty is concerned. We are deeply indebted to the Carroll County Officials Adam Jowers and Matt Stowe, and the Sheriff's Department Adam Meggs and Scott Davis for all their efforts on behalf of the horses.
Thanks to Bria, the remaining four horses on the property were rehabilitated successfully and found amazing new homes. A bittersweet triumph.
Bria was a courageous little horse in dire need, however, she isn't the first and she will not be the last. For every Bria, there are 20 more that we don't know about, or that we have no way to save. The spirit of this little filly has touched us deeply.