The cutest, most unlikely best friend duo was rescued Wednesday in Forrest County.
On July 26th, Forrest County Dispatch called a horse rescue about an emaciated horse and a sheep spotted off Peps Point Road and that a deputy was on the scene.
Rescuers Miranda and her husband with Homeward Horse Haven came to help capture the horse and sheep.
She brought a bucket with feed in hopes of luring the horse into a trailer.
The sheep recognized the feed bucket and came to the rescuers. However, the horse (now named Nova) took off down the road and the sheep turned and followed.
It was clear that the two were best friends and if both weren’t caught, then neither would be caught.
Miranda said that they were able to catch the sheep (now called Duckie) quite easily, because she was so hot under her matted wool.
Miranda’s husband scooped Duckie up and commented on how light she was. She was in much worse shape than she looked because her wool was hiding it.
After an extensive effort to corner Nova, rescuers and the Forrest County Deputy were able to get a halter on her. When she saw her friend Duckie get into the trailer, she immediately followed her in.
The rescue got both animals in for veterinary care. Both animals were in very poor condition and both were very underweight.
When Duckie was shorn, rescuers were shocked to see how frail and thin she actually was under the thick wool coat she wore.
Both animals are on a careful feeding regimen to help them recover and get to a healthy weight.
Miranda said that Duckie is extremely sweet and will follow you anywhere if she thinks you have snacks. Nova, the horse, is a fireball of nerves. Once she is caught it is clear that she knows manners but she is absolutely terrified.
This could be from past rough treatment or lack of handling for a long period of time. The slightest touch of fingertips on her neck causes her to bolt.
Miranda said that they are holding them as strays for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department. Livestock stray hold is three months. The owner would need to talk to the Sheriff’s Department about their condition and reclaiming them and then they would also be responsible for all bills incurred.
If they are not reclaimed, Miranda said they will belong to the rescue and be placed for adoption when they are healthy and ready.
“Our rescue is dedicated to assisting local law enforcement agencies with calls of concern regarding horses and other livestock by assisting with early intervention through education and guidance, as well as providing a safe haven when seizure or owner surrender is necessary. We also try to provide access to a veterinarian if there is an injured equine and no owner can be found.”
All of the rescue’s work is done through donations they receive and at no cost to the counties or agencies.
“We are a very small rescue and some people don’t know we exist even after 8 years. We are in desperate need of donations. Monetary, feed, hay, and horse-related items. We also need individuals who want to make a difference.”
Homeward Horse Haven is a rescue that started its 501c3 status in 2016 as Homeward Horse and Hound of Mississippi. During that time, they were working primarily with abandoned hunting dogs with the odd horse here and there.
“As much as we love the hounds, our path over the years has led us to working almost exclusively with horses. To shorten a long story, while there is always a need for dog rescue, the horses in our area need us more.”