DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Meet Jiminy Cricket, a two-day-old colt. He was named after the reaction when the little guy came into the world.

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“I looked out the window and I’m like, ‘Jiminy Cricket, there’s a baby!’” Garret Leonard, Director of the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, said. “I have no idea where that came from or why I said ‘Jiminy Cricket,’ but it stuck.”

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There is a lot of joy surrounding Jiminy Cricket’s arrival, given the heartbreaking place his mom came from.

“The fact that baby could survive those conditions and that mom would keep that baby alive,” Leonard said, “it’s an amazing thing to see.”

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Jiminy Cricket’s mom is among the 57 horses seized from a ranch in Hartsel two months ago. The animals were starving and some did not survive.

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“These horses have every right to not like people. I mean, why should they?” Leonard asked. “What we find is that they’re so forgiving.”

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The herd is now in safe hands at the equine facility in Franktown. They’re all slowly but surely gaining weight, including 10 other pregnant mares.

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“Right now we’re doing everything we can to give them proper nutrition so we can give the babies proper nutrition,” Leonard explained to CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

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If Jiminy Cricket is any indication of what’s to come, ten more cuties will join the recovering herd.

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“He appears to be healthy,” Leonard said of the newborn.

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All thanks to the kind humans fighting to stop animal neglect.

“It’s a shame that it happens. It should never happen because there’s no excuse for it to happen,” Leonard said. “But it does, and that’s why we’re here.”

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Along with regular health checkups, the horses are also getting behavioral evaluations by staff at DFL. Leonard said it will likely be a few weeks before they start making some of the animals available for adoption.

Kelly Werthmann

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