AS THE economy struggles to right itself, so do the horses affected by it. Their higher cost of care puts them in danger of neglect or being passed along to an unsuitable home much quicker than other “pets” affected by financial duresss. As of December 6, 2010, USERL has sheltered 100 horses in our program, assisting counties in North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky with care of horses surrendered or seized from cruelty investigations. That’s half of USERL’s average intake, but that decrease is, unfortunately, not due to less need for our services. Like many nonprofits, donations are down during the economic crisis and that therefore affects USERL’s ability to accept horses in need into our Horse Program.
But we have made a difference to 100 horses! That’s one hundred horses that had no other options to escape from their neglected existence. One hundred that now have a second chance at life, a good home and a loving family.
Like Maggie Faith (see photo), who was found in a church parking lot one Sunday morning in October. Weak from malnutrition, she could not have traveled far. She was never claimed by her previous owner, and it could be that she was left there deliberately by a desperate owner who could not afford to care for her needs. Or Ziggy (see photo), a small malnourished and stunted 2 year old colt found running loose on the road in September. He likely escaped to forage for food. No one claimed him either, and USERL took him into the program to give him the winter to get healthy and hopefully catch up on some much needed growth (he is currently the size of a 6 month old) before he is adopted into a new home.
With the rush of horses on the market, underweight horses like Maggie and Ziggy have no chance of being “purchased” into a better home. Too many healthy, trained horses are available to give them that chance, and the expense to make them healthy again is just too much (more than their “value” at sale). And counties have little options for horses involved in cruelty investigations. With no budget or facilities for caring for seized/surrendered horses, their only option is to continue to monitor the horses under the owner’s care, even when it’s obvious that the needed care is not forthcoming. Instead, these horses, donkeys and mules are forgotten with many suffering a slow painful death from starvation.
Thanks to supporters through this Global Giving project, 7 additional horses and one donkey were assisted into their new life this year, including Maggie and Ziggy! That’s eight this year that would have been “forgotten” if not for your support! Help USERL help more horses in need with your donation for their feed, hay, bedding, veterinary and farrier care (100% of the proceeds from this project go directly to these costs for care).
Winter is just beginning, and many more will need our help…
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