Free vaccines for rescue horses!

January 20th, 2011

Kudos to the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign for helping homeless horses in a way I’d never thought of. This group provides free vaccines for horses in rescues and retirement facilities.

Facilities must follow the AAEP Care Guidelines For Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities and have “not-for-profit” 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to qualify.

Horse Rescues

November 23rd, 2010

There are hundreds of horse rescue organizations in the United States, so odds are good that there’s at least one near you. Most rescues depend heavily on donations (of money, feed, tack, etc.) and volunteers. Whether you can spare a $20 donation, a few bales of hay, or a couple of hours per week cleaning stalls, you can help save a horse.

I’ve compiled a huge list of horse rescue organizations, and I’ve broken them down by state below. (more…)

Can’t afford to own a horse? Sponsor one instead!

February 17th, 2010

Always dreamed of owning a horse but don’t have the resources? Sponsorship may be the answer!

If you sponsor a horse, you pay a monthly fee for a needy horse’s food, board and vet care, and a rescue organization takes care of the horse on your behalf until a permanent home can be found. (In some cases, sponsored horses are not good candidates for adoption and will live out their lives at the rescue or sanctuary.) Your sponsorship fees are tax deductible in many cases (please check with the rescue organization to be sure), and often you can even arrange to visit your horse if you’re in the area!

Can’t afford to sponsor a horse alone? Recruit your family or friends. Groups and even businesses can sponsor horses. And sponsorship makes a great gift!

Here are some rescues that promote sponsorship on their websites. However, most rescues will happily accept sponsors for horses. There is a much longer list of rescues here. (more…)

So How Can We Fix The Problem?

February 14th, 2010

As I’ve stated before, there is no simple solution to a problem this big. But if we ARE going to fix it, it’s essential that we do two things: 1) Educate the public about responsible ownership and breeding, and 2) Take responsibility for the horses we produce.

Education

People need to understand the consequences of overbreeding horses, just as they are beginning to understand the consequences of overbreeding dogs and cats. Horses live a long time (often 30+ years) and require a lot of expensive care. (It costs $2,000 per year or more to maintain a horse.) A pretty color and a sweet personality are NOT enough to guarantee a good life for a horse. Careful, quality breeding and training are essential to ensure that today’s cute foals will be valuable and useful decades down the road.

Responsibility

Those contributing most to the problem should help solve it. I don’t support legislation to control or ban breeding, but I DO support measures that would help provide for the animals produced. Example ideas include:

  • Earmark a portion of winnings to be donated to horse rescue/retirement/euthanasia.

Approximately $1,165,000,000 in Thoroughbred racing purses were paid in the United States in 2008. If 1% of that was donated to help retired or injured racehorses, $11,650,000 would be raised. That amount could support about 5825 horses for an entire year. (Alternately, it could pay for the humane euthanization of 29,125 elderly or injured horses.)

(more…)