We’ve published stories in Dallas Voice and here on Instant Tea about Ranch Hand Rescue, the gay-owned and -operated animal rescue operation out in Argyle, Texas. Bob Williams and his partner, Marty Polasko, take in animals of all kinds that have been abused and neglected, rehabilitating them and giving them someplace to live out their lives in comfort.

One of the rescue animals was a miniature named Midnite who has been having to navigate on three legs after losing part of his left rear leg to injury. On Sunday, Williams reports, Midnite received a prosthetic leg that allows him to actually run around the ranch.

Midnite came to Ranch Hand Rescue after being seized from his previous owner due to neglect. Williams said Midnite was underweight, malnourished and extremely depressed when he first arrived, in addition to missing a hoof and coffin bone, a condition that would have, under different circumstances, forced officials to euthanize the little horse. Instead, Midnite was moved to Ranch Hand Rescue where his lengthy, and costly, rehabilitation began. After the jump, Williams offers a description of that process:

Midnite’s specially designed prosthetic leg

“First we had to get Midnite healthy and bring him out of his depression. Second, as he gained weight The Humane Society of North Texas arranged for a boot to be donated by Soft Ride [that would] teach Midnite how to reposition his weight and build muscle in his bad leg. … We started working with Midnite immediately. The process was lengthy, as we had to tape the boot on each morning and remove it each night. In addition Midnite’s leg needed to be massage and powdered every evening.

“As he got used to the boot, Midnite learned how to redistribute his weight. This was important because as he got healthy and came up to his normal weight, our vets were concerned he would break his hip and most likely his good rear leg. These injuries in a horse like Midnite are life threatening.

“In addition, several other medical issues could arise. We thought originally that we would have to amputate Midnite’s leg and then build a prosthetic leg for him, but we got to thinking if they can build a prosthetic for a human limb deformities could they do it for a horse. Prostheticare, Fort Worth LP took on the challenge.

“We met with their representatives, our vets and staff and concluded it was possible. The process has taken a couple of months because we had to do several fittings. The prosthetic is made of carbon graphite and nyglass stockinette with acrylic resin. The liner is made of a foam called pelite with a leather soft distell end which conforms perfectly to his leg. It’s bottom has been designed to look like a hoof.

“The miracle is that Midnite can not only walk on all four hoofs, he can run. That’s right — he can run and he has even jumped. Midnite can now live a happy healthy life, and he has his dignity back. He knows he has been saved and we are grateful to our friends at Prostheticare for donating his leg to us. The leg would have cost in excess of $15,000.”

Williams added that he believes Midnite can “serve as an inspiration to all of us who face challenges in our daily lives.”

If you are interested in helping support the work of Ranch Hand Rescue, call 940-464-0985 or email [email protected]