With a little love and luck | PostIndependent.com

With a little love and luck

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado – Liz Chandler still checks in on the horse called “Lu”. Lu was shot in the head and left for dead near Rulison this past November, however, according to Chandler, of Emergency Veterinary Care, Lu has made a remarkable recovery.

“He is looking really good,” Chandler said.

Lu has gained weight and is now healthier and can hold his head up. He was unable to do so when a passerby on Interstate 70 first discovered the injured horse covered in blood from a gunshot wound, near the Rulison exit.

“It appears that he will make a miraculous recovery,” Chandler said. “And that is due to the care of Mike and Linda Walck. They have done a fantastic job.”

Lu is a grey gelding who suffered from what authorities expect was a botched shooting of the animal in November. Chandler suspects that whoever shot the horse did so because it suffers from arthritis in his front left leg.

Chandler said that the ailment affects Lu enough that he is not fit to ride.

But that is no excuse for what happened.

According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, deputies discovered the horse the evening of Nov. 9. They then called in Mike Walck, who is also a state brand inspector, to see if they could identify the horse’s owner.

However, Lu was not branded and did not have any other identifying marks.

Lu was shot with a .22 caliber gun in the front of the nose. An exit wound was discovered about five inches below his right ear. The bullet penetrated and fractured his sinus cavity, narrowly missing his brain, according to Chandler.

Lu wandered more than a half-mile from where he was shot, according to Walck, who followed the blood trail to the shooting location.

As bad as this incident was, Chandler said that all cruelty cases are bad.

“It certainly ranks high in the human negligence department,” she said.

It’s hard to rank how one could be worse than the other.

“When you make the decision to pull the trigger, you have to finish the job,” she said.

For the first few weeks, Chandler visited Lu two to three times a week to check on him. But it was the others, like the Walcks and Liz Lewis, who were taking care of Lu’s wounds each day, that really made the difference.

Chandler said it took an hour every day for six weeks tending to his wounds.

The Walcks ended up adopting the horse so that it would have a place to recover. According to Chandler, that is a big responsibility to take care of an animal with such serious wounds and needs extensive care.

“It’s huge on their part because of the long-term care and feed bills are going to be significant,” she said.

Chandler mentioned that close to $400 in donations have come in to help pay for Lu’s bills. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office donated $200, and the Carbondale Coop has donated some feed, while other individual donors have also contributed.

Chandler’s initial reaction when she saw Lu that night was that he was not going to live. But, with a lot of help, Lu is doing just fine.

“After seeing something like that, it’s a good reminder that there are a lot of really good people in our area,” Chandler said.

And five months later, Lu seems to be getting along just fine.

“He seems happy,” she said. “He seems very happy now.”

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