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Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse

by Sound Equine Options
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Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse
Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse

The last four months have been one of the most rewarding and challenging times for Sound Equine Options. Thanks to your support, we made a real difference in the lives of 61 neglected horses in Creswell, Oregon.

 

It all started with a phone call from one of our law enforcement partners. We were just pulling away from visiting a struggling horse farm when the phone rang. It was Lane County Animal Control. “Could you help us with the seizure of at least 60 horses?” That number gave us pause, but we immediately set to work on a plan. 

Early in the morning on the day of the seizure, a train of trailer met up at the staging area in Lane County, ready to go.  After sheriff’s deputies served the warrant and secured the scene, trailers were sent to the scene one at a time. 

 

Horses were transported for veterinary exams and then onto our emergency shelter location.  Months of care from our amazing staff and volunteers then ensued. To find out more about the horses, their recovery and the entire process CLICK HERE

 

A huge thank you to our amazing donors who allowed us to be there for these horses.  Now, as the virus puts us in uncharted waters, we expect to soon be needed more than ever. 

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Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.
Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.

Sound Equine Options (SEO) helped Linn County Sheriff’s Office seize 34 horses on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, after 14 were found dead on a property outside of Lebanon, Ore. 

Deputies executing the search warrant on Wednesday found some of the horses standing in septic mud and water, full of urine and feces. The horses were so emaciated that their ribs and hip bones were showing, and some had difficulty walking. The horses did not have access to clean drinking water, and there were no signs of an adequate food source. Criminal Animal Neglect II charges are pending for the property owners.

SEO needs donations to help cover the cost of caring for the 34 horses. On average, SEO spends $2,500 per horse, which includes the veterinary care, rehabilitation, and training needed to find each horse a suitable, permanent home. Providing 34 horses with quality hay will cost $3,000 a month alone. These horses will also require dental and farrier (feet) care, deworming and vaccinations, and ongoing veterinary care. 

SEO spent all day Wednesday assisting deputies with the seizure. The rescue effort included coordinating more than 30 volunteers and a dozen horse trailers to catch, load, and haul all 34 horses to an equine hospital in the Portland area.

It took several days to evaluate and treat the horses. Several of the mares are visibly pregnant, so their numbers could grow to 44 or more. Once stabilized, horses are sent to foster homes where they receive individualized care, quality nutrition and additional veterinary care, including additional doses of dewormer and vaccinations. 

Most horses usually remain with SEO for six to nine months before they are adopted. However, horses from law enforcement cases must remain in protective custody until court proceedings are over, which means these horses may not be able start SEO's training and adoption program for an extended period of time.

In general, it often takes a horse 3 to 4 months to recover at a foster home before it is strong enough to begin SEO's training program, which includes ground manners, desensitizing, and whenever possible, riding. Proper training is a life insurance policy for horses. Good training helps make them desirable and reliable partners, which leads to more successful adoptions.

Training can take another 3 to 4 months, depending on the age, disposition, and previous experience of the horse. Some of the horses SEO takes in have never been handled or were handled poorly. Our trainers use natural horsemanship methods, which focus on creating a bond of respect and communication between people and horses. It builds a horse’s confidence and is the fairest way to communicate with a horse. The result is a solid partnership and connection between horse and rider.

SEO's horses are available for adoption to pre-approved adopters who complete our application process and site visit inspection. Adopters also must demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and resources needed to properly care for the horse, which must include regular veterinary care, farrier care, and proper feeding. Adopters must agree not to sell or rehome the horse without prior approval of SEO. All new homes are also inspected.

Properly rehabbed and trained rescue horses are as good, if not better, as those available for sale through private sellers. SEO's adoption return rate is very low, which they attribute to their training program.

Sound Equine Options (SEO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2009 to assist the growing number of neglected, abused and abandoned horses in our community. Our mission is to save the lives of horses through support, education, rehabilitation, training and adoption. 

A licensed rescue, SEO focuses on law enforcement cases to help break the cycle of abuse, neglect, abandonment and suffering for local horses. Although Oregon leads the nation in animal welfare legislation, it lacks the resources to address the increasing numbers of unwanted horses in our area. By caring for abused, neglected and abandoned horses, SEO fills a great need not currently being met by local, state or federal government.

On average, SEO is caring for between 40 and 60 horses at a time that had been neglected, abused, or abandoned. For every law enforcement case we take in, there are approximately 3 more that remain in bad situations because we don't have the resources or the capacity to help them all. That means there are hundreds of horses in our community that are suffering, right now. 

SEO exists solely on private donations, small grants and fundraising. To learn more about SEO, visit  soundequineoptions.org.

Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.
Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.
Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.
Photo taken by neighbor before the seizure.
SEO volunteer trailers cued up at the staging area
SEO volunteer trailers cued up at the staging area
Sheriff's deputy on site during seizure.
Sheriff's deputy on site during seizure.

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Open Barn Event
Open Barn Event

Sound Equine Options Announces its Adopt a Horse: Rescue Your Soul Adoption Campaign

Gresham, Ore — Sound Equine Options (SEO), a Portland-area certified animal rescue, kicks off its Adopt a Horse: Rescue Your Soul adoption campaign today as part of the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) national Help A Horse Day contest, competing for a chance to win some of the $110,000 available in grant prizes.

Working closely with its long-time partner, the Oregon Humane Society (OHS), SEO will intensify its efforts to find good homes for horses rescued from neglect, abuse and abandonment during the two-month contest period. SEO is also launching two new programs designed to continue the adoption efforts beyond the contest: Adoption Advocates and New Horse Owner Mentorship.

Several events, including an Open Barn Adoption Event at SEO's training barn in Troutdale on May 20, 2018, and the Celebration of the Horse clinic at DevonWood Equestrian Centre in Sherwood on June 23-24, will highlight the advantages of adopting a rescue horse. Other events include an educational series for horse owners, both new and established, that will cover key aspects of owning a horse, from costs and space requirements to proper feeding, care and training.

Free and open to the public, the Open Barn on May 20th will feature several SEO and OHS horses ready for adoption. People are encouraged to come meet the horses, watch their training demonstrations and learn what it takes to own a horse. The Open Barn also includes a used tack sale.

Motivated by the results of ASPCA equine research suggesting there could be approximately 2.3 million adults in the U.S. with both the resources and desire to adopt a horse in need, Help a Horse Day 2018 is focused on finding more good homes for horses.

“ASPCA Help A Horse Day contest is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the horses we have available for adoption,” said Kim Mosiman, SEO's executive director and co-founder. "Winning grant money and finding homes for horses would allow us to help even more horses in need."

SEO hopes to find homes for all 14 of its available horses, as well as commitments to adopt 9 more currently in training, before the contest ends June 30th. SEO currently has 37 horses in its care, including 8 horses rescued by OHS that are in protective custody and 6 that are in rehabilitation.

Although Oregon leads the nation in animal welfare legislation, it lacks the resources to address the increasing numbers of unwanted horses in our area. By caring for abused, neglected and abandoned horses, Sound Equine Options fills a great need not met by local or state government.

"For every law enforcement case we take in, there are approximately 3 more that remain in bad situations because we don't have the resources or the capacity to help them all. That means there are hundreds of horses in our community that are suffering, right now," said Elisabeth Wolff, SEO's president. "Our long-term goal is to be able to say yes to every case OHS or local law enforcement want to bring us."

Winning an ASPCA Help A Horse Day grant will allow SEO to help more horses in need like Miles. Unfortunately, his story is a common one. On February 19, 2017 Wasco County Sheriff's Office asked SEO to assist with the seizure of two severely emaciated horses in The Dalles, Oregon. One horse was too weak to stand and had to be euthanized. The other, a 10-year-old bay gelding that rescuers named Miles, required months of rehabilitation before he could be trained. He was adopted in October 2017.

"My friends have been commenting that Miles is one lucky horse, but I actually really feel that I'm the lucky one," said Erin Milliron-Miller, Miles' new owner. "I'm absolutely in love with this guy. He's a very kind animal, very sweet and loving."

You can see Miles' journey from near death to healthy and loved in this short film by Tory Kelly of Equine Video Productions, Time and the Care to Heal ~ The Story of Miles online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd1QUqc7uH8B.

ABOUT SEO

SEO was founded in 2009 to assist the growing number of local horse owners who could no longer afford to properly care for their horses, resulting in large-scale neglect and abandonment. Since then, SEO has grown from a small fund offering low-cost veterinary services to a licensed rescue dedicated to ending the cycle of abuse, neglect, abandonment and suffering for local horses.

SEO's mission is to save the lives of horses through support, education, rehabilitation, training and adoption. SEO cares for anywhere between 40 to 60 horses at a time that had been neglected, abused, or abandoned. Most of these are in our many foster homes, which are the heart and soul of the organization. Last year, SEO rehabilitated and found homes for more than 40 horses. SEO assists with law enforcement cases, often in partnership with OHS.

Sound Equine Options is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that exists solely on private donations, small grants and fundraising. The cost to save the life of one horse, including the veterinary care, rehabilitation and training necessary to find it a suitable, permanent home, averages more than $2,500. For more information about SEO, please visit www.soundequineoptions.org and follow Sound Equine Options on Facebook.

ABOUT ASPCA HELP A HORSE DAY

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. Help a Horse Day is celebrated annually on April 26 – a date chosen for its significance in the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. In 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment on April 26 of that year. Now in its fifth year, Help a Horse Day has been a meaningful way for hundreds of equine rescues and sanctuaries to garner community support for their lifesaving work. Since 2014, the ASPCA has awarded equine groups more than $300,000 in grant funding through the Help a Horse Day contest.

Contact: Kim Mosiman
Phone: 503-888-3933
Email: kim@soundequineoptions.org

Oregon Humane Society

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Amelias first attempt at leading!
Amelias first attempt at leading!

Project "Give Them a Chance" Needs Your Help!

Thanks to continued support from donors like you, we were able to rescue four 8- to 12-year-old Thoroughbreds on January 4, 2018. These horses, two stallions and two mares, had never been taught how to lead. Because they could not be easily caught or handled, they had not received any training or veterinary care, and the stallions had been cooped in dark, dirty stalls for years to prevent breeding.

These horses were in the care of an elderly man in his 80s who has advanced stage cancer. Once a respected breeder, he had planned to get out of horses several years ago, but his son wanted to take over the breeding operation.

After breeding horses for three years, the son changed his mind, so his father was left with the responsibility of their daily care. The father spent years trying to rehome the horses, but no one wanted older, untamed Thoroughbreds. Even after his wife moved to a senior place, he stayed behind to continue looking after the horses as best he could.

When one of our supporters alerted us to his situation, we decided to go see the horses. There were 11 horses on the property. And although they didn't seem horribly undernourished, several needed immediate medical attention. It was also clear the situation was untenable. Although the elderly gentleman was doing the best he could, the cancer had taken its toll, and he deserved to live the rest of his limited time with some peace and comfort.

Although we usually only take in horses coming from law enforcement, we decided to make an exception in this case. We felt that if we didn't start helping a few at a time now, the horses would be in worse shape when we are called in down the line. 

Our plan was to take the horses that were in the worst shape or situation first, and then choose one we thought we could train and adopt quickly to make room for the rest. One of the stallions had a very crooked and painful leg, and one of the mares had a large, open chest wound. A second stallion had been confined to a dark, dank stall for years, and we felt it would be inhumane to leave him in that situation. We had hoped to only take three, but we wound up taking four: Dezi, Lincoln, Amelia and Cleopatra.

Other Horses

We had to leave seven horses behind on the property. We hope to be able to go back and get the others as soon as possible, before their elderly owner is physically unable to feed them anymore, but we cannot take in more horses than we can afford to care for properly. Unless we can raise the funds needed to take the rest, we will not be able to take any more until after the ones we have are trained and adopted. That could be weeks, months or maybe a year.

In addition to helping these horses, we would like to give their elderly owner, who has end-stage cancer, a few months of life without physically having to care for anyone but himself. We can only do that if you help us help the remaining horses. Please consider making a donation today.

This video by Equine Video Productions does a great job of showing the situation and many of the horses that still remain. There are three stallions still in stalls and four mares that need to be adopted. But we can't take in any more horses without your help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxeG7KQi2y0&sns=fb

Dezi and his painful crooked leg
Dezi and his painful crooked leg
Lincoln getting used to a halter
Lincoln getting used to a halter
Cleo and her sore chest wound
Cleo and her sore chest wound
Amelia's 2nd time haltering and leading
Amelia's 2nd time haltering and leading
More of the mares that need help
More of the mares that need help
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Eagle Creek Fire Evac Collage
Eagle Creek Fire Evac Collage

During last month's Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon, Sound Equine Options worked closely with Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) and the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization Animal Multi-Agency Coordination Group (RDPO Animal MAC-G) to evacuate more than 500 animals in less than 24 hours.

 “In the current wildfire response, SEO has stepped up without hesitation and proven themselves as a strong partner for MCAS and a great example of how the Animal MAC-G was designed to operate,” said Randall B. Covey, supervisor of Washington County Animal Services and active member of the Animal MAC-G.

 Sound Equine Options began evacuating horses from its training facility in Troutdale, Monday, September 4, around 9 p.m., after a shift in winds brought a marked increase in smoke and ash. "I knew it was time to get prepared," said Kim Mosiman, executive director of Sound Equine Options. The training facility was later used as the staging area.

 The fire exploded shortly after Mosiman moved their horses that night. The calls for help soon came pouring in after Multnomah County Sheriff's Office ordered a Level 1 (Get Ready) for the communities of Corbett, Latourell and Bridal Veil; Level 2 (Get Set) for East Corbett; and Level 3 (Go!) evacuations for the communities of Dodson and Warrendale.

 Sound Equine Options volunteers worked all night Monday and all day Tuesday fielding calls for help, finding and dispatching trucks and trailers, and finding safe places to take the animals where they would be properly cared for and fed. Between 9 p.m. Monday and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sound Equine Options had received more than 600 phone calls, 1000 texts, and 500 Facebook messages.

 "Our volunteers on the ground did the impossible," said Elisabeth Wolff, president of Sound Equine Options. "We had more than 75 people driving large trucks and trailers all night and all day long up and down the steep, winding, narrow roads of the gorge. The heat was exhausting, and the smoke and ash made it difficult to see and breathe in some places."

 Nearly 150 animals were taken to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and are being cared for by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Posse, a volunteer organization that works with the Sheriff's Office. The rest of the animals were taken to private stables and facilities across the metro area that volunteered to house them. About 35 horses were taken to the Oregon City BRN4D (Barrel Racers National 4D) Arena, which also took in horses evacuated from the 36 Pit Fire near Estacada, Oregon, in September 2014.

 "This is our second fire evacuation experience with the good folks from Sound Equine Options," said Mike Gammelgard, president of BRN4D. "Their dedication and commitment to horses and all animals is unparalleled."

 The horses from Sound Equine Options' training barn, along with several evacuated horses, were taken to Eagle Fern Equine Hospital in Estacada, where they are being cared for by volunteers and hospital staff. Eagle Fern Equine Hospital has been working with Sound Equine Options since 2010, evaluating and treating horses rescued by Sound Equine Options from neglect, abuse and abandonment.

 "If you need to evacuate livestock, don't wait until Level 2 to get going. It might be too late by then to get to you." said Mosiman. "Frightened animals are difficult to handle, much less load into dark, narrow trailers. You never know how long it may take to get loaded and get out of there."

 Video posted to Sound Equine Options' Facebook page shows volunteers rounding up horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and pigs. Other animals were evacuated included cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and even fish and a couple of emus.

 "I was speechless, tears flowing, covered in sweat, dust, and mud from pig wallows while still attempting to coerce seven 500-plus pound sows with five different litters of piglets," said Kyrie Eppley, whose animals were evacuated. "We have a stubborn pig, three smart ewes and two llamas who refused, regardless of the coaxing, to leave. Thank you to everyone who touched my life and the lives of these animals."

 Sound Equine Options also assisted with the return of the animals when the mandatory evacuations were lifted and evacuation levels were downgraded to Level 1 more than a week later.

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Organization Information

Sound Equine Options

Location: Gresham, OR - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Kim Mosiman
Executive Director
Gresham, OR United States

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