A Valentine's gift with real horsepower

Cindy when Heart of Tucson rescued her, taken July 14, 2011

A Valentine's gift with real horsepower

CREATED Feb 14, 2012

Reporter: Corinne Hautala

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – A Tucson woman got quite a surprise on Valentine’s Day, her husband bought her a horse.

Most women will receive chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day, but one Tucson women received a horse.  Lisa Young-Heath is a volunteer at Heart of Tucson, a horse rescue, and immediately bonded with a horse named Cindy.

In July, Cindy was found wandering in a neighborhood malnourished.  Heart of Tucson took in the abandoned horse and nursed it back to health.  Young-Heath was one of those who worked with Cindy to help her recover.

Knowing how much his wife loved the horse, Jeff Heath, bought it and surprised her with the gift on Valentine’s Day.  Heart of Tucson founder Judy Glore had set the stage for the surprise.  She placed a large red bow around the horse’s neck.

As Young-Heath walked up to see Cindy, thinking it was a routine visit, she noticed our camera and realized it wasn’t an ordinary trip the horse rescue.

”What’s going on?” she asked with tears already forming.

 “This is your horse now,” explained Heath. 

With tears running down her face, she joyfully responded, “Oh, I can't believe it.  You just made my dreams come true.”

Heath said he knew it would be a perfect Valentine’s gift for his wife.

“She just absolutely loves this horse, the horse loves her and I thought what better gift to give her and the horse than to adopt her and let her spend the rest of life with my wife and myself,” he said.

There are dozens of horses at Heart of Tucson looking for homes.  Most of the horses at the rescue were abandoned in the desert, by owners unable to feed them due to rising hay prices.