Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Horse Rescue Or Collector?

Finding a legitimate horse rescue can be difficult. If ever faced with a decision in today's economy that one may not want to make. My girls are with me for life. But say you want to donate to one. What might you look for? Often you see people, who may have good intentions in the beginning and then just end up collecting and often those horses end up in a place that may be worse than where they came from. The living conditions for the horses are poor. There are too many there to care for properly. They are not rehabbed for adoption. They are standing in crap and underweight, wormy, whatever. Those are the places that give horse rescue a bad name. People are able to get that 501 tax exempt status and really put forth the effort to really rescue. I'm sure for every bad one out there, there must be ten good ones. Well, I would hope so anyway. We all know that this will get worse before it gets better. A legitimate rescue will have a reasonable adoption fee, not a sales price. In my opinion, that adoption fee should be 3 digits, not 4. The horse up for adoption should have been evaluated by a Veterinarian and also an expert horse person, perhaps a trainer to determine soundness of mind and body and any illness or issues that might make the horse a pasture pal rather than ridable. Any health issues should be revealed to the prospective adopter. The adopter should be scrutinized. There should be a contract between adopter and rescue. I like to see a statement that allows the horse to be returned to the rescue if things do not work out in their new home. A former stallion, should be a former stallion, gelded. In Wisconsin, there are two rescues I like. One is ASAP and the other is the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation . There are others, but these are the two I have found here that seem most legitimate.

Now onto some disturbing news today. Stephen just sent me this article Feds considering euthanizing..... . Now this is truly upsetting. I find this news sad and I don't even know what to think about it. I'll have to think further about this before expressing an opinion.


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I'm gonna jump the gun here and say that I would support their decision to euthanize horses that cannot be adopted.
Horses are very destructive to rangeland. Nature is not kind and allowing the populations to swell to the point where delicate eco-systems are destroyed and the horses eventually end up starving to death anyway just seems so much more cruel and senseless than a quick and humane end.
Wild horses-although beautiful to see and a part of Western Lore-are not native to North America. I support having managed groups but do not support allowing them to destroy the native eco-system. Cattle and Sheep ranchers pay dearly to use that land and have to account for just about every blade of grass that their livestock eat-why should another non-native species be allowed to completely destroy it?

Callie said...

BECS, That is a good point. Very valid. Just like regulating deer populations by hunting. And it does beg a lot of questions, back to the ole' slaughter arguement. Are horses pets or stock? It seems a waste to me. What will they do with 10,000 dead horses. This is where I'll piss someone off, but if the government is going to kill that many, shoot them in the head and send them to feed starving people in third world countries rather then waste them. At least there'll be good done by it and it won't seem like a waste. Again, I agree that as they become overpopulated, there must be some regulation. Hell, they could send the meat to the homeless shelters here in the states as with this state of economy, God knows they're filling up and running out of resources.

kdwhorses said...

I agree with ya on the rescues-there are alot of great ones out there, but there will always be the bad ones. People that see it as a way to make easy money at the horses' expense. If all rescues would have a screening process on the horse and the new owners, just think of all the great matches that could be made. The idea is to place the horse with the right person, break the cycle.
On the article-I clicked on it to read it and made it to the part where they were going to kill them. I had to close it!! It is a touchy situation and emotional for me to think about it. After reading BECG I see her point as well. For me it is just hard to process that these animals should be destoryed. On the other hand I see what feral animals can do to the pastures, livestock, etc. (wild hogs, coyotes, etc. here) We shoot hogs and coyotes when we see them, they can ruin farmers and ranchers. Callie you brought a good point if they do kill theses horses where are they going to put them or what are they going to do? Great points brought up by you both, I can't wait to see what everyone else says.

Twisted Oaks Quarter Horses said...

How much will it cost the government/tax payers to humanely euthanize these animals? Bo Derek and Company shut down the slaughter houses just in time. Now instead of sending the horses that are hard to adopt to slaughter, they have to be cared for until they die of natural causes or get euthanized. With the rising price of fuel, corn, hay, and oats there will be a drop in adoptions. There has been a big drop in breeding and many people cannot afford the horses they have now. Our government caters to the wealthy without any concern given to the middle class. Soon it will be only the rich and the poor.

Mrs Mom said...

Gotta agree here. BECG brought up some great points. And one of MY favorite pet peeves is the PREVENTION of starvation. Starvation is a cruel cruel way to die. Absolutely horrible.

Shoot them, and feed them to zoo animals. Ship the meat, and use the proceeds to support the remaining animals. (Good grief I can hear the cries of "blood money" now...)

There have to be options. It is going to take some doing to sort a viable one out though- and I do not know if that is going to happen. People do not want to exert that much effort into saving something that is NOT themselves. (Hell half the time they can not be bothered to do that. They want a "babysitter" in the form of more government.)

OK OK-- off my rant here.

There is no easy choice. No matter what way you look at it, there is not going to BE an easy choice.

Good points by all... thanks for bringing up the topic Callie ;)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Rescues are a wonderful service to many, however,I think a lot of them start out with good intentions and like you say wind up collecting horses. Something must be done to help the legitimate rescues and put a stop to the collectors with the tax breaks who now have people funding their hobby. I have seen this first hand in my area and I think these people should be ashamed of themselves. They have volunteers mucking, donating money, time and what have you. I have seen them throw themselves charity shows, fund raisers and it's all because they don't want to go out and find a job to support their hobby, so they let other people support them. I guess it takes all kinds? I hope that any one who wants to donate to a rescue has the ability to actually go out and see it and how the horses are treated/rehabbed/adopted before they decide to donate either time or money and make the decision based on whether or not you think it is a truly legitimate rescue.
I will comment on the other thing you mentioned later on, about the Feds and wild horses.

Callie said...

Well, Steve has replied with a post concerning the Wild Mustangs, so I'll leave it to that.

Arlene, You are so right. It pisses me off really. Keep collecting and get on the net and beg people to send money!

horse rescue said...

The harsh reality is that sometimes the horse owners just want to get rid of the animal and do not try to contact the proper authorities for help. So many times horses go to a killer sale because the owners were not educated on the alternatives for unwanted horses in their area. There are too many people breeding unnecessarily. Why breed when there are tens of thousands of horses in the United States that need homes already? It would be great to educate people and explain that breeding isn't for everyone. Because of the excessive amounts of breeding 93% of the 100,000 horses being slaughtered every year are perfectly healthy, but the truth is the United States is over populated with Equine animals.