Sunday, April 12, 2009

Horse Slaughter, Seattle Slew and an Easter Miracle

As I was running out the door last Wednesday to leave for the Homes for Horses Coalition Conference, I received a phone call from someone trying to help a friend find safe placements for two retired slaughter bound thoroughbreds that she had previously rescued some years prior. While her intention was to remain their forever home, and that should have been the way things worked out, the current economic climate forced her to change that plan. She was desperately seeking a rescue and/or retirement placement where she could know they would never again face the prospect of slaughter. Although we are still full here, another reputable rescue (also full) has found a foster home for one of the horses ( a Seattle Slew grandson) and we're still working on finding a foster placement for the the other thoroughbred. In direct opposition to cases such as the allegations brought against a professional horse person such as Ernie Paragallo, there are many more private owners of thoroughbreds they have rescued that are finding themselves unable to continue their commitments and are calling out for help to the TB rescues and sanctuaries while their horses are in still good shape and well cared for. The need is huge.
As referred to by Keith Dane of HSUS at the above mentioned conference,rescues and sanctuaries may want to take in and, if appropriate, rehome horses that are, or are in danger of being, homeless or food. However, as of right now, the reality is that nationally, we cannot bail every slaughter bound thoroughbred out of an auction/feedlot, or get them off a double decker trailer.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from all of the organizations and individuals who have helped us to continue and expand our mission of helping as many thoroughbreds as we can. A partial list may be found on our website. Many individuals contribute what they can,when they can, whether monetarily or via "in kind" donations", and do not wish to be mentioned. Their trust, faith, and support is equally invaluable.
I'm often asked if we receive State, Local, and/or Federal Support: No-such support is not available to Equine Rescues .
As was mentioned at the HFHconference,conventional grant funding options for equine rescues and sanctuaries are relatively limited.
The ASPCAworks tirelessly for the benefit of all animals and we are very grateful that we received a grant from them to help winterize our paddocks.
Grantmakers that specifically support the thoroughbred horse include:
Thoroughbred Charities of America and After the Finish Line
Blue Horse Charities also supports the thoroughbred adoption community with grants after TB's have been adopted.
Local racing community support is visionary and innovative: Emerald Downs established the Prodigious Fund, an opt-in $1 per start owner option, matched grantmaking entity to assist thoroughbreds transitioning from a racing career into retirement or a second career.
Chez Chevaux is truly honored by and sincerely appreciative of all efforts of these grantmakers .But, the grantmakers can't do it all alone either. Nor should they, and nor should we.
Our list of thoroughbreds in need, be they from the best intentioned connections seeking placement/rehoming assistance or lovely,sound and healthy young thoroughbreds being dropped off at kill buyer auction without a reserve ( slaughter bound) is still lengthy.
We're asking all that can to participate in The Derby Dollar Challenge to assist thoroughbreds in need. And please, refer to todays' previous post: We're still trying to help a concerned party find Slewpyooo.
Thanks and Best,

Slewpyooo, by Slewpy Tattoo F02634

If anyone knows the where this H/J/ Eventer -type chestnut gelding is, please contact us. He has a home waiting for him and there is a cash reward re:his whereabouts offered by this home. I am posting this on her behalf. We were told that someone took to the Enumclaw,WA auction April 5th, 2009, where he was personally purchased for $300.00 by (Enumclaw) Ron Mariotte, and possibly re-sold privately,without being run through the sale. Whether or not he went to a slaughter (kill) buyer or a private individual is unknown. It's our understanding Stanwood Packing (slaughter quarantine?) has told his concerned connection that he isn't there. Please contact Chez Chevaux directly by email @ or call (360)793-4981 and we will refer you to the party concerned.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ernie Paragallo Thoroughbreds Seized

Yesterday morning, as the Homes for Horses Coalition Conference began, this situation was discussed. Regardless of who, what, where, or why these conditions came about, they did. Anyone can "Google" Paragallo and thoroughbreds, read the stories, and form their own opinions. I am simply grateful that these horse are now receiving help. I didn't check my email for the two days I was at the conference (my cell phone was on), and when I got back home and looked late last night, there were a number of linked emails (here's the first)asking if I had heard about this. Yes: I have. During this conference current mass seizures and surrenders of all and indeterminate breeds were also referenced.
Again, regardless of who or why, this is not an isolated incident. Nonetheless, it exemplifies one of the reasons Chez Chevaux has posted The Derby Dollar Challenge.

Homes for Horses Coalition

I am back from the Homes for Horses Coalition Third Annual Conference and I am very grateful I was able to attend. The Conference itself was sponsored by the Animal Welfare Institute and The Humane Society of the United States. Members that were able to attend paid their own ways. The organization of the entire conference was wonderful and the panels, presenters and attendees from all over the U.S. had the opportunity to share a wealth of experience, information, and innovative and inspirational ideas devoted to the benefit of all equines and those who value them.
Panel topics included:
Working with Law Enforcement to Improve Equine Welfare
Finding Homes for Horses: Training and Marketing for Adoption success (my portion of this panel addressed retraining the OTTB - The Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred ex-racehorse)
The GFAS Horse Rescue and Sanctuary Accreditation Program
Euthanasia and Horse Rescues: An Ethical Discussion
Money Matters: Where and How to Seek Grants and Funds
Planning for the Worst: Being Prepared For a Major Disaster
Community Building: Forging Partnerships with State and Local Stakeholders
Keeping Volunteers Engaged: Attracting, Utilizing, and Retaining Volunteers
Promoting Owner and Breeder Responsibility in the Equestrian Community
The tone of this Conference was entirely positive and focused on cooperative solutions.
While it is true that in these current economic times an overwhelming number of horses, be they purebred, crossbred, or ? are in need, and while there are 501c-3 organizations dedicated to equine welfare striving to do what they can: All of us need public support, participation, and volunteers. Please explore the links on this post if you find a mission statement that speaks to you, please contact that worthy organization and ask how you can help.
Happy Easter!

Thank You to After The Finish Line

We are very grateful to After the Finish Line . They have honored Chez Chevaux with a grant that will be used to purchase hay. ATFL has a major fundraiser planned for July 30, 2009, coinciding with the Del Mar racing meet. Please support AFTL's commitment to helping thoroughbreds in any way you might be able to .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Facebook And Twitter

Please also visit Chez Chevaux on Facebookand Twitter!

The Derby Dollar Challenge

As the 135th Kentucky Derby is but weeks away, I am asking anyone and everyone who can donate even one dollar towards rescuing and supporting thoroughbred ex-racehorse in need to do so. Given the current economic climate, many lovely and heathy thoroughbreds that have great potential for second-careers are indeed going to slaughter in Mexico and Canada. Rescues and sanctuaries are challenged as well right now. Please see our website for more about the Derby Dollar Challenge. I love watching The Derby too, but I know all too well what happens to many wonderful and deserving thoroughbreds that do not make it to the top of the game. Even the fastest, such as Ferdinand, may meet their ends at slaughter.

The Homes for Horses Coalition Conference

April 9-10, 2009, on behalf of Chez Chevaux, I will be attending the Homes for Horses Coalition Third Annual Conference at Bally's Las Vegas. This conference is sponsored by The Animal Welfare Institute and The Humane Society of the United States.A number of rescue,sanctuary,animal welfare advocates and equine industry professional will be in attendance for broad and beneficial panel discussions. I will be participating in a panel discussion on April 9th, from 11:00-12:30 devoted to Finding Homes for Horses:Training and Marketing for Adoption Success. As it is my area of expertise, I will be addressing specifics related to the thoroughbred breed, with emphasis on the ex-race horse, and appropriate pertinent marketing options for adoptions thereby. I am quite excited about this conference and I'll post a synopsis when I get back.
Best to All,
Melodee ,