Beaten Arkansas Horses Recovering

Two Arkansas Quarter Horses, a 3-year-old filly named Puddin' and a 5-year-old mare called Fat Girl, were seriously injured when they were attacked Aug. 6 while owner Patrice Swan was away. The two were brutally beaten with unknown blunt objects wielded with tremendous force, probably baseball bats or ax handles, by unidentified attackers who have not been captured. The injuries to both horses were varied and severe.

"This is not a random act," said Swan's attorney, Cheryl Vogelpohl. "It was (done by) someone who knows the horses and the barn."

Puddin' had surgery Nov. 13 at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater. The surgery was an attempt to relieve scapular nerve pressure so severe it caused disfiguring shoulder muscle atrophy and left her incapable of walking normally. It went well, according to Dustin Devine, DVM, who led the surgical team. "She's hanging in there and is bright, alert, and reactive," he said.

Devine said the procedure had two goals--to restore Puddin's normal gait without a marked subluxation or slip of her shoulder, and to restore muscle mass and tone. A prognosis was difficult to offer after surgery. Fat Girl has been recovering and is not a candidate for surgery at this time.

Donations to help pay for Puddin's surgery and recovery of both animals can be sent to: Bank of America, "Puddin' and Fat Girl Recovery Fund," 719 Harkrider, Conway, Ariz. 72032; 501/336-6829. PayPal donations can be sent to or go to and scroll to "Patrice Swan's Story" under Issues & Information to make an online donation.

About the Author

Meg Cicciarella

Meg Cicciarella is a freelance journalist who lives and writes in Homer, on Alaska's banana belt, the Kenai Peninsula. Her articles have appeared in local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines.

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