In April of 2008, Fayette County Animal Rescue (FCAR) cruelty investigators went to a Williston farm in Fayette County, TN to follow up on a complaint from neighbors that there were horses on the verge of starvation. Upon arrival, they found horses in terrible condition, with health problems that ranged from emaciation to hair loss and untreated injuries. There were also multiple bones on site including 7 horse heads in various states of decomposition. There was no food or hay for the horses anywhere in sight. Due to the imminent danger the horses were under, rescuers immediately got a warrant and did an on-site seizure to take possession of the 17 horses while the case went to court. At the time Bandit was just 3 months old and very skinny, staying close to him mom with a terrified look in his eye.
The owner received a summons to appear in court, and FCAR volunteers began taking care of the horses. After the owner’s first appearance in court, FCAR volunteers went to his farm to feed the horses and were devastated to find that eleven of the seventeen horses were missing. The owner was immediately put in jail and for a week no one knew what had happened to them. Finally FCAR was made aware of a newspaper article in Texarkana, AR that detailed the arrest of the owner’s mother and another man who had stolen the horses and were caught with them crammed into a twenty-two foot livestock trailer. They were arrested and convicted of animal cruelty in transportation.
The owner was eventually convicted of seventeen counts of animal cruelty in Fayette County and is not allowed to own horses for years. FCAR received ownership of all 17 horses. FCAR worked with a horse rescue group in Texarkana, ARTEX, who took in the eleven horses since they were traumatized after the long trip. ARTEX took excellent care of them finding them homes once they were healthy. It was a long, difficult process to get the remaining six horses healthy and socialized. However with dozens of FCAR volunteers assisting, the horses were nursed back to health and one by one put up for adoption.
Being so young when he was rescued, Bandit was a favorite with a lot of our volunteers. From the terrified baby that wildly jumped over a car when we tried to catch him the first time, he turned into a well mannered boy that is full of life and love.
When we first heard that Priscilla Presley and Graceland Enterprises were interested in Bandit we were in disbelief. This would be the Cinderella story of animal rescue for our young horse to go from the worst conditions to the absolute best a horse could ask for, living like a king at Graceland. But the fairy tale came true and Ms. Presley’s compassion for animals and dedication to continuing on a tradition at Graceland by rescuing horses resulted in a new forever home for Bandit.
Fayette County Animal Rescue is a no-kill, non-profit humane organization dedicated to rescuing the sick, injured, abused, abandoned and neglected animals of Fayette County since 1998. We have horses, dogs and cats available for adoption. Please visit our website at www.fayettefcar.com or call us at (901) 854-2565. Although not all animals can live like a king at Graceland, we can all exhibit the same compassion and commitment to animals as Ms. Presley has done by giving an abused or neglected animal a second chance and offering them a new forever home.
We recently received the following pictures from Graceland of our beautiful and now grown up, Bandit. You can clearly see the joy on his face as he enjoys his new beautiful home. We appreciate so much the care that he is receiving and the happy life that he now lives. We encourage all of our supporters to stop and see Bandit when you visit Graceland as part of the Elvis Presley Stable Tour.