This Mule Named Hope Got A Second Chance At Life

After a near miss with slaughter, Hope found her forever family.

1. This is Hope, a mule who spent her entire life doing the grueling work of pulling a plow on an Amish farm.

2. In July 2014, at the age of 12, Hope was discarded at an auction. There, she was purchased by a kill buyer and began her journey to slaughter.

Although horse slaughter is illegal in the United States, kill buyers still peruse auctions around the USA to find horses they can ship and sell to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.

3. Hope was bought and tagged with a four-digit code that sealed her fate across the border. Luckily, Kris Young stepped in before Hope was shipped off.

Young tours kill lots and gathers information about horses being sent to slaughter. She posts their picture and biography on Facebook in hope of finding them a new owner.

4. Jill Aureliano, a horse trainer located in Old Brookville, NY, came across Young’s photo of the mule and she knew that she had to help.

Aureliano worked quickly to pull the mule from the kill buyer, but rescuing Hope would cost close to two thousand dollars. By partnering with Red Barn of Old Brookville, NY, Aureliano was able to give Hope a forever home.

5. She was rescued on July 4th, 2014. Aureliano named her Hope, fittingly.

6. Although she was free from slaughter, Hope was still carrying burdens from her former life as a plow mule.

Her hooves were broken down from years of pounding work without much maintenance or care.

7. Across her neck and chest, Hope had scars and burns from where her plow harness dug in.

8. Following her escape from the kill buyer, Hope spent four weeks in quarantine where she prepared for her new life.

There, Hope received the proper treatment and certifications to ensure her safety and health when being exposed to a new environment.

9. Finally, on August 1st, 2014, Hope headed home.

10. She arrived at Red Barn that Friday, bounding off the truck to her new family.

11. Aureliano and her family spend their time spoiling and pampering Hope.

12. Aureliano’s daughter, Brittany Cacossa, says, “Hope loves people and loves her new life. She’s absolutely infatuated with horses, too.”

13. She has an entire pasture to herself that she runs, plays and rolls in every day.


15. “She loves to roll and get dirty, especially after I’ve given her a bath,” Brittany says of the mule.

16. Hope will be a barn mule. She’ll never have to work another day in her life, save for her trot from the field to the pasture gate where Brittany will be standing there, ready to spoil her with carrots.

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