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Terrified horse was ‘skin and bones.’ Then a dog named Molly made friends, NC rescuer says

Sammy the mini horse was found wandering South Carolina streets severely neglected. His bones showed in stark relief beneath his coat and he had trouble walking.

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Sammy was just “skin and bones,” said Darlene Kindle of Carolina Equine Rescue and Assistance in Union County, where Sammy was transported earlier this month.

Kindle said that because of severe neglect, she initially was told that Sammy should be euthanized. But Kindle, and her golden retriever Molly, weren’t ready to give up on him, she told The News & Observer on Aug. 12 . And Molly was determined to make friends.

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Kindle posted a video of Molly and Sammy on Facebook that had more than a quarter million views as of Aug. 12.

In the video, Molly sits outside Sammy’s stall and the two gently nuzzle each other.

“Molly is your typical Walmart greeter,” Kindle wrote on Facebook. “She loves everyone including all the animals we have on the farm. She especially loves the minis; she can reach them much easier.

“Sammy, the mini that she is comforting, just came into CERA’s program. He is nothing but skin and bones and scared. Molly truly has an exceptional sense of knowing when one of the animals doesn’t feel good or sad. So she very gently introduces herself. This is her job and she is very good at it as you can see.”

Sammy was taken to CERA after being found by a South Carolina shelter. He weighed about 200 pounds, Kindle said — he should weigh closer to 300.

“Sam was bad. On a scale of 1-10, he was a low 2,” she said.

The mini horse’s hind end was low and he was dragging one of his hind feet, Kindle said.

“He walked like a duck,” she said. “You could see the patella popping in and out.”

When Kindle spoke with a veterinarian, she asked if Sammy “had the will to live in his eyes.”

“He did, so I agreed to take him,” she said. “I didn’t know if his little body and organs were going to make it through the night but they did.”

Sammy will need a lot of care and attention as he recovers from neglect, Kindle said. Among the many health issues he faces, he could also need surgery. Kindle’s rescue depends on donations.

“Please donate,” she said. “Sam has a long road ahead of him and we need your help.”

For more information, or to donate to the rescue, go to

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