Rescued horses go to Graceland
Priscilla Presley adopts animals saved from slaughterhouse by Palermo woman
By MEGHAN V. MALLOY,Staff Writer
PALERMO -- Max will never be able to thank Carol-Terese Naser for saving his life. He will never be able to thank Priscilla Presley for adopting him and giving him a new home. Then again, Max is a 3-year-old bay horse.
Max and his brother, Merlin, a magnificent chocolate-colored creature, were scheduled to be slaughtered -- along with four other horses in their family in Quebec -- last summer. Naser, who has had horses of her own since she was a child, stepped into action and bought all six horses just days before they were to be taken to the slaughterhouse.
Naser and her friend Cathy Cleaveland found out soon enough that it wasn't easy -- or cheap -- to care for six horses. So they decided to start fundraising.
"We sent T-shirts to celebrities we knew were passionate about animals," Cleaveland said. "We requested they autograph the shirt, then send it back. We were going to auction them."
Nothing, however, prepared Naser or Cleaveland for the phone call that would change Max's and Merlin's lives.
"I answered the phone and Priscilla Presley was on the other end," Cleaveland recalled with a laugh. "I didn't believe it at first."
An animal lover, Presley told the women she wanted to adopt Max and Merlin to give them a permanent home at Graceland, the nearly 14-acre spread, 23-room mansion in Memphis that Elvis shared with Priscilla and their daughter until the couple's divorce in the early 1970s.
"I have always had a bond with horses," Presley said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "Elvis gave me my very first horse. It was the horses that made Graceland home to us." Presley, who called herself "the kid who had to rescue all the animals" growing up, said that when she received the T-shirt from Naser and Cleaveland, the story of the near-slaughter struck her.
"It haunted me," Presley said. "I couldn't sleep because I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to do that."
Max arrived at the estate Jan. 10 -- two days after what would have been Elvis Presley's 73rd birthday, Naser said. Merlin will follow in the spring. Presley, who called Naser's saving act "an unbelievable labor of love," said it is her desire to educate people about horse slaughter, including spreading the word about a national call-in day Tuesday to permanently ban the practice.
"I know the bill (to ban the practice) is stalled right now and I have no idea why," Presley said. "I would urge everyone to call their senators and U.S. representatives about this." ...
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Sunday, January 20, 2008
Priscilla Presley: not horsing around!
A remarkable story out of Palermo, Maine, appeared in the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel. Back in July 2007, a family of 6 horses was saved from a Quebec slaughterhouse by a small group of Mainers. Six months later, during a fundraising drive, the group found themselves in contact with the one and only Priscilla Presley!