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Woman saluted for rescuing horses

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EDMONTON—When Susan Fyfe took 100 emaciated Arabian horses into her care last spring, all she wanted was to see them nursed back to health.

“I wasn’t doing it for my breeding program, I did it to heal the horses,” said Fyfe, who spearheaded efforts to save the starving herd in central Alberta.

Those efforts have landed Fyfe on the cover of this month’s Reader’s Digest magazine, who named her “Rescue Hero of 2008.”

She was nominated by a friend in Okotoks, Alta. and chosen among thousands of other nominees.

“I feel honoured,” said Fyfe, who owns Keno Hills Stable and Tack Shop in Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton.

She said the rescue mission was a group effort involving nearly 500 volunteers who devoted their time, resources, and expertise.

Fyfe took in the animals a week after they had been seized by the SPCA on Feb. 26, 2008 from a farm near Andrew, about 100 km northeast of Edmonton.

The horses were supposed to be auctioned the week they were discovered, but the sale was put off when they were deemed too sick and emaciated.

Some of them were so exhausted they couldn’t even lift their heads off the ground, Fyfe noted.

The SPCA found 27 horses dead on the ranch, and four more died later.

By July, all the horses had been adopted and are all doing well, Fyfe said.

The two horse owners were charged under the Animal Protection Act and fined.

One of the owners, who faced a similar conviction in 2005, is now prohibited from owning horses.

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