The bad economy has hit us hard. People are losing their homes; they struggle to pay their bills and get groceries, and they are either giving up or abandoning their pets. Even horses are affected. Horses have been found starved and hit by cars because they are just left wandering around. There are several states that accept horses, both wild and those abandoned by their owners. The states involved are: Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington State.
I will talk about a few of these places such as Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, Camelot Sales and Livestock Company, Sugar Creek Livestock Auction, Bright Futures Farm Equine Charity, and Liberty Equine Rescue.
Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue is located in Lancaster, California. They are a nonprofit group dedicated to saving abused, abandoned, neglected, and slaughter-bound mustangs and domestic horses.
Since 1997, this organization has provided the following services: refuge, training, and adoption. Their dedicated staff work with the rescued horses to train, to provide socialization and handling. These acts are necessary for the horses to be adopted.
Lifesavers cares for over 200 rescued horses on their ranch and sanctuary facilities. The number of horses they take in is continuing to increase. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of abused, abandoned, neglected, and slaughter-bound horses that are in need of aid. Their goal is to help these horses by providing refuge, medical care, fostering lifetime learning, and lifetime homes.
Lifesaver’s President Jill Starr, and other shelter operators are seeing a horse crisis. Jill has this to say, “People have lost their homes, their jobs, and their hope. And they are giving up their animals.”
She also said that horses come onto their property, in a horse trailer, and their owners beg Lifesavers to take the horse. Jill’s resources are stretched from taking in so many horses.
Jill says, “All of a sudden it’s like somebody flipped a switch and people started bringing back the horses they adopted from us.”
Jill Starr of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue has this to say about the horses that are returned to her, “I’m hoping this is the worst of this that we are going to climb out of this pretty soon. I will take care of the horses and won’t let anything bad happen to them… They’re basically family.”
Michael Markaria of the Human Society of the United States says this, “There are no hard numbers on this. The states don’t seem to be keeping numbers. The economy has been hard on everybody, and animals are no exception.”
Shannon Bonfanti is a good example. She is a freelance fashion industry worker whose job has dried up and so has her income. When she was working she was able to manage all of her expenses. She has six horses in her stable but is looking to sell three, which will save her family about $800 a month. So far she hasn’t found any buyers.
Bonfanti has even considered the county animal shelter as a solution. When she learned the horses may have to be put down because of lack of room at the shelter, she decided to look elsewhere.
The Los Angeles County Animal Shelter took in 188 horses, which is s significant increase of 600% from the previous year. The shelter is killing horses at a rate of three or four a week.
David Byerly, a veterinarian, says the number of horses they get keeps going up and this is the first time they have had to euthanize horses because the facilities are full. However, those that are likely to be adopted are spared.
Camelot Sales and Livestock Company in Cranberry, NJ, is a horse and livestock sale barn. They run auctions every Wednesday night that features horse tack and equipment, small animals and equines. You can always sell or buy horses from the proprietor aside from the Wednesday night auction.
The proprietor of the establishment maintains a feedlot. When a group of horses is large enough, they are shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter the following Sunday. Unfortunately, this is legal in the United States. All federal and state laws and regulations are followed.
If you’d like to save a horse but cannot personally take possession of the animal, you can pay to pull the horse of your choice. When this happens, the company makes a notation as to who is offering to pay “bail”. They give “first refusal” to existing equine rescue groups. This is done because rescue groups have the knowledge and infrastructure to quarantine, vet, and evaluate the horses. This is done to place the horse(s) into a suitable situation by matching horse(s) with their adopter in regard to temperament, skill levels, and special needs.
There are times the rescues have approved private homes, or foster homes, that could take in the horse(s). Several rescues regularly pull the horse(s) from the Camelot pen. If you want to contribute part of the pull fee, they suggest you contact a rescue group directly that is collecting funds to save a horse. Camelot will put you in touch with a rescue group. Their contact information is:
Camelot Sales and Livestock
43 Brickyard Road
Cranberry, NJ 08512
The proprietor’s name is Frank Carper and he can be reached at (609) 448-5225.
At the Sugar Creek Livestock Auction in Ohio, there is a horse auction every Friday. The auctions are attended by kill buyers (people who buy horses to send them to slaughter) and by rescue organizations. The people who work at Sugar Creek are all volunteers. They are a group of individuals and rescues, who work together, to network to save the horses in the feed lot pen at Camelot.
“We are in a unique and fortunate situation, that the proprietor, allows us the opportunity to network for homes for these horses, prior to their shipping, which is usually on Sunday.”
To contact Sugar Creek Livestock Auction here is the address:
102 Buckeye St SW
Sugarcreek, OH 44681
Bright Future’s Farm also steps in to help save horses from slaughter. I contacted Beverlee Dee and told her I was writing an article about horses and how they are being slaughtered. She spoke right up with some useful information:
“Thanks for choosing to write about this issue. It’s heartbreaking, and the methods are absolutely Neanderthal. I’m not an “activist”, but anyone who knows what is done to these horses from the minute they arrive at the auction, afraid and clueless, is something that has to cease. And, of course, the indiscriminate breeding is a huge issue as well. At Sugarcreek Auction, in Ohio, on Friday, we did not have funds “up front” …we fundraise as we find horses there…well, a QH breeder brought five two year olds with papers to the auction. Got $200-$250 each from a kill buyer. He talked to someone there, could have been the kill buyer, I need to clarify that, and his attitude was that oh well…he got “something” out of them! Our “boots on the ground” picked up the papers. We got one horse off of his trailer about two hours ago…..one hour before they headed to Slaughter. She was a TB that was run through a backwoods auction by the trainer’s girlfriend (track he works at has a zero tolerance policy that we are attempting to get enforced) explicitly so that the horse would not be “found” at Sugarcreek. When called, she was quite surprised to say the least, that her horses (two … we got one already) had been at Sugarcreek. The one we got had won $200,000 at the track and is a son of Dynaformer (Barbaro’s sire) out of an Affirmed mare.
“It happens every day somewhere…
“Last week, we pulled two Thoroughbreds from Sugarcreek that had been taken there by adopters! These horses were from rescues and were under contract. The two we pulled were two out of four we looked at…50% of the Thoroughbreds we looked at were under contract and should not have been there. Had we not gone, they’d have shipped and the adopters would have said, “oh, she died last month” or something to that effect…..”
To contact Beverlee, here is her contact information:
Bright Futures Farm Equine Charity
Please visit our web site to learn how you can help!
Liberty Equine Rescue is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation, of unwanted abused, or neglected horses. They are currently awaiting their 501 (c)(3) status. Liberty Equine Rescue was founded in 2009 and is located in Morris County, New Jersey. Their views are anti-slaughter. They hope to educate the public about equine issues regarding livestock auction and the slaughter of America’s horses. Their rescue works, each week, networking for horses headed to slaughter from the Camelot feed lot pen.
On their website they allow you to look at pictures of rescue and rehab horses; visit the Mustang Sanctuary; view the Retirement Sanctuary; view adoptable horses, sponsor a horse, rescue a horse and donate your money to help Liberty Equine Rescue to save more horses. There is even a place you can go to be come a volunteer.
To contact the organization:
Liberty Equine Rescue
PO Box 447
Denville, NY 07834
It is horrible what the economy has done to people as well as to animals, especially horses. Something needs to be done to stop the slaughter of these beautiful animals and find homes for them with people who actually care about them. When these horses go to auction they are scared and clueless of what is going to happen to them. They need our help. Please help to stop the slaughter and save the horses!
To help protect horses from going to slaughter you can contact the following places:
The Equine Protection Network: http://www.equineprotectionnetwork.com/saveamericashorses/index.html
Helping Hearts Equine Rescue
This organization is a non-profit animal welfare organization in New Jersey. They work to rescue, rehabilitate, and find placement for horses in need. They assist horses in the situations of abuse, neglect, or those in threat of slaughter. They are also determined to educate the public in regards to the standards of care required to maintain a horse as a riding partner and/or companion in a humane manner.
To contact Helping Hearts Equine Rescue here is their address:
PO Box 342
Perrineville, NJ 08535
On Facebook, there is a group to help saving horses called One Horse at a Time. Penny Austin, a member of the group has this to say: “One Horse at a Time, Inc. is a charitable non-profit group that assists in facilitating rescues of horses in need. We have a variety of assistance funds that rescues can apply for. In 2010 – we are establishing a Gelding Assistance Fund.”
The description of the group is this: “OHAAT invites you to join in our journey to provide resources to those who rescue horses, to educate the public about responsible equine ownership, and teach people to recognize and report neglect/abuse in order to save horses, One Horse At A Time. We are a registered 501(c)3 organization committed to bettering the welfare of our equine friends.”
If you would like to join the group visit: http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=153461547552