Turbo, the mini horse, might be tiny, but his spirit is mighty! Born with two luxating patellas, Turbo has always struggled with his mobility. Unable to stretch or bear weight on his hind legs, Turbo supports his entire weight on his two front legs. Due to his mobility struggles and the financial costs of caring for his special needs, the Road to Refuge Animal Sanctuary stepped in to give Turbo a second chance!
The Road to Refuge Animal Sanctuary
Based out of North Haven, Connecticut – the Road to Refuge Farm Sanctuary is dedicated to making the world a better place for farm animals. Megan Pereira, the co-founder of the sanctuary, is a mixed animal Vet Tech and has a lifelong love of animals.
While working in a veterinary practice, Megan was surprised by how many farm animals were brought in to be euthanized. She knew she couldn’t let that happen, and the Road to Refuge Animal Sanctuary was born. Megan says, “I lean towards the special needs ones, the broken ones, the really medical intensive cases.”
Over the years, she’s worked with blind goats, senior animals, and even a disabled goat named Peaches, who relied on a wheelchair to stay active. Working with all these extraordinary animals led Megan and her volunteers to rescue Turbo when he was two months old.
Megan says that despite how he may look, Turbo is not in extreme pain. “He has some discomfort, but it doesn’t keep him from having the zoomies and play biting and being a foal. This is not some rare condition that no one has ever seen before. He has permanently luxated patellas, meaning his kneecaps are not where they should be and are off to the side.”
Turbo Trots Towards Recovery
Now three months old, his initial medical needs taken care of, Turbo is weaned and ready for the next phase of his journey.
Inspired by the online videos shared by the sanctuary, the Walkin’ Pets team knew they had to help! The team immediately traveled from New Hampshire to Connecticut to get Turbo fitted with a cart. Megan says, “The minute we buckled him into his cart, he took off running!! He did amazing. And he will continue to do amazing. Seeing Turbo ‘walk’ before any assistance and dragging his legs to being in his cart – I almost started crying. I am not a crier, but I almost started crying. He was running, bucking – it was all very exciting.”
Turbo’s new Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is helping him to stand, walk, and even trot for the first time in his young life! His new mini horse wheelchair will come in handy as the rescue explores possible knee surgery and physical therapy very shortly. Although not commonplace, patellar luxation surgery has been done successfully in horses before, so Turbo won’t be the first!
The Road to Refuge Animal Sanctuary relies on donations to help cover medical expenses for the animals in their care. Visit their website, to help support Turbo and the other animals who call the sanctuary home.
Megan Tells Turbo’s Story
Follow Turbo’s journey on Instagram @road2refuge_sanctuary_ct