METHUEN, Mass. (WWLP) – After a year of recovering from being underweight and not properly maintained, Merlin the horse is ready to be adopted.

The MSPCA at Nevins Farms in Methuen first received Merlin, an American Paint elderly horse, last December. When he arrived at the farm, he was underweight and had a mouth full of bad teeth that were cutting into his gums. Some of the teeth were fractured and had to be removed but the team knew they could nurse him back to full health.

“When Merlin came to us, he weighed just 850 pounds, which may sound like a lot but it’s very underweight for a horse of his size,” explained Rachel Diersen, equine and farm animal supervisor at Nevins Farm. “The issues with his mouth were so bad that he couldn’t even eat solid food, so we had to put him on a special diet.”

Merlin has now been homeless for nearly one year and the team is hoping they can find him a forever home. He now weighs close to 1,100 pounds and is much healthier. Merlin will also be celebrating his 34th birthday this December.

“Merlin will be the oldest horse we’ve placed in recent memory, and he’s very special,” said Diersen. “We’re highly motivated to rehome him now that we have custody, because he’s responded so well to treatment and has such a wonderful personality, and we’re hoping to enlist the help of the public to find this older gentleman an awesome retirement home.”

The MSPCA is asking for a special adopter that knows how to take care of senior horses. Those interested in adopting Merlin can apply on their website.

Merlin first arrived on Nevins Farm after MSPCA Law Enforcement officers executed a search warrant on a Martha’s Vineyard property due to finding Merlin in poor health. His owner, Laura Bernard-Maciel, was charged with felony animal cruelty. Bernard-Macial was ordered by a judge to pay for the costs of his care during her case. The MSPCA received full custody of Merlin on November 7th and Bernard-Macial chose not to pay for his care.