Lily is recovering with the help of a pasture mate.
The horse who was shot with a paint ball gun more than 125 time s and then abandoned in New Holland has been paired with another horse, Anita, who is also healing from the removal of a diseased eye.
The two are getting along well at a rehabilitation farm near Kennett Square in Chester County, caretakers say.
“Anita and Lily have very similar personalities," said Dr. Nikki Scherrer, an ophthalmologist at the New Bolton Center, a 700-acre campus and part of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “The two mares are getting along."
Lily’s recovery has generated statewide interest following her rescue at the New Holland Sales stables on March 14. A criminal investigation is ongoing into the horse’s mistreatment.
A Rhode Island man, 65-year-old Phillip S. Price, has been charged with animal cruelty, handling animals without a license and importing animals without an interstate health certificate.
The horse was transported from a location in New Jersey to the auction site. But how Lily was injured remains unclear.
The horse was treated at the New Bolton Center, where veterinarians put her on pain medication and removed a diseased eye.
Veterinarians and officials from Omega Horse Rescue, which is handling donations for the horse’s care, came up with the idea of pairing Lily with a friend.
She has now been paired up with Anita, a horse who also has only one eye, in a pasture for horses with impaired vision. The pasture is flat and has few trees or obstacles to get around.
Anita had a cancerous tumor in her right eye that threatened to grow into her bone, so veterinarians removed the eye to save her life. She has been given chemotherapy injections to treat any lingering cancer.
"So far, she's had no regrowth of cancer," said Scherrer. "The left eye looks good. I monitor it very closely. That eye has a very high risk for a cancer recurrence. She will need life-long monitoring. "
Louisa Shepard, a spokeswoman for the New Bolton, said the two animals are happily getting along and munching grass together in a pasture. Both continue to receive treatment.
"Lily is doing great," said Scherrer. through email. "The area where we removed the right eye is basically healed. The left eye gets a little more comfortable each day and she has less tearing."
Scherrer said she expects to be treating Lily for another month or two.
"In an older horse that is really underweight, everything is a little slower," said Scherrer. "In general she has a great appetite, loves being outside, and seems happy."