A 6-year-old American Paint Horse named Northstar was deliberately doused in an unknown accelerant and set on fire the weekend of Aug. 25 in Crawford County, PA, sustaining first, second, and third-degree burns to approximately 40 percent of his body. Due to the severity of Northstar’s injuries, he was transported to The Ohio State University’s Galbreath Equine Center on September 5 to be treated by specialists and will need intensive wound management.
“A burn victim with injuries this severe will need a minimum of four weeks of critical care healing before infection is under control and graft surgery can be considered, but I am impressed with how he is progressing,“ said Dr. Samuel Hurcombe, assistant professor of Equine Emergency and Critical Care at the Galbreath Equine Center. “Northstar is bright, alert, and interactive with people and his pain is manageable, but he has a long way to go to recovery.”
It is thought that Northstar, who is described as friendly and personable, was attacked when his attention was diverted. Police are actively seeking leads in this case, but have not identified any suspects.
Northstar's owners have had him since he was a newborn foal and describe themselves as appalled and deeply saddened by this criminal act. Northstar's medical bills for the first month of his care are expected to top $10,000 and future expenses are unknown.
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has created the Northstar Equine Emergency Critical Care Fund in honor of this brave horse. Donations to this fund will be used to support equine critical care patients in need of veterinary care and financial support at the Galbreath Equine Center.
Reporter inquiries can be directed to Jane Carroll at Carroll.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 614.292.5220.
Watch the 10 TV news story. 9/6/12
Watch the Fox 28 news clip. 9/6/12
Learn more about Northstar's progress here.