Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A sad story seems on its way to a happy ending.
On Sunday, rescuers from H.E.A.R.T. of Tucson saved from the desert a horse they named Ashley.
After four days with the rescue group, Ashley is doing better but it'll take months for her to recover from the heartless people who starved her to skin and bones, then left her to die in the desert.
Wednesday, she resisted getting out of her stall as if she feared people would abandon her again.
H.E.A.R.T. of Tucson director Judy Glore tried to assure the nervous horse, she told Ashley, "You're gonna go get a bath. You're not going anywhere else."
A sheriff's deputy found the horse in an area near the airport, so notorious for animal dumping it's often called Dogpatch. Ashley's not the first horse H.E.A.R.T. has rescued from the Dogpatch.
Another rescued horse, Millie, has something to say about that. When Judy Glore said, "Tell them what you think about people who dump horses out there in the desert. Go Millie."
Millie responded: "PFFFT!"---sort of the horse version of a raspberry.
If you want to see why horses get dumped and why rescue organizations are in trouble you can look at a bale of hay. It might as well be a bale of money. One bale of hay costs about 19 dollars and you'd better be feeding your horse about a bale and a half per week. Add on top of that other feed expenses, storage, and a bunch of other costs."
Since we first showed you Ashley on Sunday, H.E.A.R.T. of Tucson has been getting some heart-warming support.
Judy Glore says, "We've had people calling from Tennessee, Kentucky, all over the United States asking about her, what her condition is and it's really, it's neat. There's a lot of people that follow you guys all over the place."
But that's not to say H.E.A.R.T. can relax. Just the special feed to bring Ashley back is about 90 dollars a week, and there are plenty of other horses to help---about 30 at H.E.A.R.T. with more in foster homes H.E.A.R.T. supplies with hay.
We also met a horse named Here Comes Frazier. He's not from the desert. He's from the racetrack. Judy Glore says he had a good shot at the Kentucky Derby until he spooked during a race and crashed into the rail. He broke his leg but vets were able to save him. Just this week, he retired to the H.E.A.R.T. facility in Tucson. The warm weather here should be good for the arthritis he will probably develop in his injured leg.