Nobody can be surprised by hearing about a case of animal abuse or neglect in this area. It doesn’t happen too often, but the incidents are frequent enough to warrant concern.
What is surprising about the case of Skye, a thoroughbred mare discovered in a tin box during a July heat wave, sick and emaciated, is how far-reaching the case became.
The case covers four counties. Skye was found by authorities following up on a report in Halcott in Greene County. Her owner, 73-year-old William Hrazanek, has an address in Fleischmanns, which is in Delaware County. He is accused of neglecting Skye. The horse was taken in by the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA, which is in Columbia County. Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione is expected to prosecute the case. And Skye underwent a surgical procedure at a veterinary clinic in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County.
Overall, the level of involvement in Skye’s case makes it clear that when an animal is suffering, the community rallies to make it well again. Only this time, four communities, separated by hundreds of miles in some instances, are working to get Skye back in good health.
Skye’s surgery — removal of a basketball-sized growth of flesh around her hind leg — was made possible with donations from the community, Columbia-Greene Humane Society Executive Director Ron Perez said Monday.
“We raised several thousand dollars,” he said. “I’m grateful for that. I don’t have the bill yet but it’s a rather costly surgery and recovery. We deeply appreciate all the support from the community.”
Ending animal abuse is a job bigger than one community, or even four communities, can handle. But the support and love Skye received offers hope that communities will continue to fight for the lives of these animals. Donations from anonymous sources, without fanfare or expectations of reward, helped make a difference. To paraphrase a now-famous aphorism, it takes a community to save the life of an abused animal.