In December of 2015, Anita stood frightened in the kill pen in Central Pennsylvania. She had been badly neglected and was suffering from cancer in both eyes. When Omega Horse Rescue came upon her that day they say she looked like she had almost given up.

Omega rescued her and brought her immediately to University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center so she could receive treatment. Anita was diagnosed with having cancer in both eyes. The removal of Anita’s eyes at 10 years of age would have made finding her a home nearly impossible. Saving her eyes might have been the only way to save her life. It was decided that Anita would be the first horse to receive photodynamic therapy (PDT), a laser treatment created for humans that treats cancerous cells on the margin of tumors. The PDT team at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center had previously treated cats, dogs, and birds, but Anita would be the largest being to ever receive this treatment.

The surgery took almost 4 hours as tumors were removed from each of her eyelids and a photosensitizer was injected to treat the remaining tumor cells.

Anita recovered well from surgery but cancer cells returned to her right eye. Anita went back to New Bolton to receive 3 weeks of chemotherapy and eventual removal of the right eye. This is where Tracey met her and fell in love. We adopted Anita in May of 2016 and brought her home to be part of the The Hey Friend Foundation family.

Anita grazing in green field

Anita is an angel that walks the earth. She is so incredibly gentle. We love to give her kisses on her sweet little nose and get tickled by her soft whiskers. Having only one eye doesn’t keep Anita from watching everything that goes on at Hockhockson. Incredibly sensitive, even a change in weather can affect her mood and appetite.

Anita looking over fence

She adores her paddock mate Ally. Watching the two of them run around their pasture is like watching synchronized swimming on land.

Together they enjoy sunset strolls in our grassy paddocks. There isn’t a person who meets Anita that doesn’t comment on her gentle ways and tremendous personality.

Anita and friend grazing


Sign up to get updates from
Hey Friend Foundation