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,