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Horse Haven gives emaciated, abused horse a new chance at life

Though full of life now, when Horse Haven rescued Daisy and her sister Dandelion from a barn in Blount County, it was a different story.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Horse Haven of Tennessee specializes in giving injured and abused horses a new life. On Wednesday, the nonprofit has a full-circle moment when an abused horse was delivered to her new owner.

Wednesday is a day Daisy has been patiently waiting for. Jocelyn Smith, the equine manager at Horse Haven, said the once injured and abused horse had a big day ahead of her.

"She actually goes home to her forever home today and it's what makes all of this worthwhile," Smith said.

Though full of life now, when Horse Haven rescued Daisy and her sister Dandelion from a barn in Blount County, it was a different story.

"They were both emaciated," Smith said. "They hadn't been out of their stalls, they were covered in old manure, and mud, and that sort of stuff, we really couldn't even tell too much about them."

The previous owner surrendered them to the nonprofit. Still the sisters persisted. Horse Haven worked since May to get the abused horses' weight up and confidence back.

"The possibilities for her are absolutely endless and that's what charges us up," Smith explained. "That's what gets us moving"

Now one door closes, another opens with a new owner for Daisy.

That new opportunity goes by the name Jessica Raichl. She's Daisy's new owner.

"It's been a long time coming," Raichl said. "I used to own horses when I was a kid and this is my second chance of being a horse owner and her second chance."

Horse Haven delivered Daisy to her new home in Knoxville. It's almost too good to be true for Raichl and her family.

"It's not just a dream or a fantasy now," Raichl breathed. "It's real."

No more worries of abuse or mistreatment.

"She'll have tons of love and treats and really she's a part of a family," Raichl said.

Which is all Horse Haven can ask for.

“What moves me is when we get a picture in a month and a half and she’s comfortable and interacting and happy and there’s my thank you. There’s my thank you,” Smith said.

Daisy's sister Dandelion was adopted in September. Horse Haven's efforts are supported through donations and volunteers.

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