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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

If you visit the Lollypop Farm farm walk, you may notice a beautiful spotted horse following closely behind a friend. She carefully steps through the pasture and listens intently for the horse in front of her. Patches, a 19-year-old Appaloosa mare, and Precozsous NR (“Tootsie”), an 18-year-old Grey Arabian mare, are two very sweet and well-mannered horses with a special relationship.

These two horses were brought to Lollypop Farm after their elderly owner could no longer care for them. When they arrived, Lollypop Farm equine staff suspected that Patches was blind. A large animal veterinarian confirmed this during a physical examination. But Patches has found companionship and help in her friend Tootsie. Patches can navigate their pasture by listening and staying close to Tootsie. She has likely been blind for some time now, and with the help of her pal Tootsie, she doesn’t spook easily and moves around well.

Patches prior to her second surgery.

Farm staff began to notice that Patches eyes were becoming more swollen, and she was keeping them closed as if they were bothering her. After a visit with a large animal veterinarian, it was determined that removing Patches’ eyes would ensure her a more comfortable life.

Patches’ procedures were scheduled at the Genesee Valley Equine Clinic (GVEC), located in Scottsville. But what about her friend Tootsie? Patches relies so much on her friend, and Lollypop Farm staff were concerned she would be lonely and scared without Tootsie by her side. So, it was decided that Tootsie would travel with Patches to the clinic. Today, Patches and Tootsie are back on the farm, with Patches still following the sound of Tootsie’s steps. They won’t be here long, however, as they are going to a wonderful foster home!

Patches and Tootsie were made available through the Compassionate Aid for Retired Equine (C.A.R.E.) program. This program offers a long-term foster solution for horses that need to find new homes. While the horse is under their care, fosters collect receipts from their expenses that can be handed in as a charitable contribution while filing taxes. C.A.R.E. helps horses who otherwise may have a long wait for adoption to find loving homes and makes helping homeless horses more affordable to the equine community. Soon, Patches and Tootsie will head to a wonderful foster home through C.A.R.E. and they can live in comfort at their new home, together.

Patches, with her friend Tootsie before second surgery.

Interested in learning more about the C.A.R.E. program? Learn more here.