We end our broadcast tonight with a story about people who are giving some magnificent creatures a second chance at a good life. We hear a lot about the human toll in the drug trade between the U.S. and Mexico. We don’t hear much about the animals who are pressed into this duty and this dirty business and then abandoned when smugglers no longer need their services. NBC’s Tom Truong has our report tonight about an organization that is making a difference for these noble creatures.
Reporter: In the middle of the Arizona desert, the sound of a thundering herd is proof of good works because only a short time ago these horses barely made a sound, hovering near death. When this palamino was brought to Karen Pomroy’s ranch, he had no name. No one wanted him. Abused and broken, this 15-year-old was starving and scared.
Karen: A lot of the horses come with a blank look in their eyes because they’ve basically given up.
Reporter: It’s estimated 75 horses are abandoned each year by drug traffickers in this stretch of Arizona desert. The horses carry as much as 400 pounds of drugs through the treacherous terrain and are often left to die once smugglers cross into the U.S. Luis Sarantez, Junior and his father found a severely injured horse on a recent ride along the Mexican border.
Luis, Jr: He was in bad shape. He was real skinny. You could tell he was real thirsty.
Reporter: They took the horse to Equine Voices where a little bit of love goes a long way. The horses train with volunteers, are treated for injury and are fed to their heart’s content. The goal is to heal wounds, both physical and emotional.
Karen: One of the things that really makes my job all worthwhile is when I see that sparkle come back into their eyes because it tells me that they are back again. Hi, handsome.
Reporter: After nine months at Equine Voices, the sparkle came back to that broken palamino along with a name, Cash. Cash was adopted and is now a loyal and trusted riding horse for Melanie Martinez’s two children.
Melanie: He’s a good horse. He has not forgotten but maybe he has forgiven people for what they have done to him.
Reporter: Saving horses that were once abandoned and giving them the gift of a second chance. Tom Trung, NBC news, in the southern Arizona desert.
Video from MSNBC Nightly News. See original at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/43832782#43832782