Spring Hill personnel searched Nellie’s fields for any plants that could
potentially be toxic. Alsike clover was found in Nellie’s pasture, which is
one of the plants known to cause liver toxicity. Spring Hill had the plant
identified and confirmed by a professional botanist. Nellie’s blood work
showed that her liver was in fact affected severely. Liver disease can
result in the severe burns that Nellie experienced, as well as weight loss,
anorexia and death.
Spring Hill identified this to the Essex Police, and based on that
information, the veterinary conclusions, and their own investigation, they
have concluded the criminal investigation and determined that the most
likely cause of Nellie’s injuries was ingestion of this toxic plant.
After much consideration, and understanding the lifelong specialized care
that Nellie was going to need, Nellie’s owners decided to sign Nellie over
to Spring Hill. We found a wonderful, experienced foster family for Nellie
who is equipped to handle her special needs. She arrived there Friday night,
and we are glad to report she is comfortable and happy in her new home,
already capturing everyone’s hearts and making new friends of the horses in
her barn. She is eating and drinking well and had another vet visit on
Nellie’s daughter Tiffaney, who was not showing any signs of this toxicity,
also was living in the same field. Spring Hill provided funding to have her
relocated to another stable for a month, which will give the owners time to
eradicate the plant from their fields.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to everyone who has sent letters, emails,
donations, and words of encouragement to Nellie and her family. We are
relieved to hear that Nellie’s injuries were likely caused by a mere
accidental ingestion of a toxin rather than an intentional attack from a
person. Regardless of how she was injured, Spring Hill’s main concern is
Nellie’s health and recovery. Nellie still has a long road to recovery, and
will need considerable veterinary care, which we are committed to providing
If you would like to help support Nellie's care and other animals in
need, please donate now to our emergency fund.