The main issues, for HOP, in rescue are to save as many horses in clear need as possible, give them the vet care and training they need and assure we will be there year after year to protect the horses we’ve placed while educating the public about the issues we face to build a better “next generation.”
For us, this is the only way we can operate and feel we are making the right, lasting impact on the equine community.
Yet, as long as so much funding goes into broker lot pulls, fewer horses will be saved in the grand scheme of things, fewer rescues will last the long haul, less training will be given and less follow up on placement made.
A life is a life in rescue. We need to save and safely adopt out as many as possible with one thing in mind. . .”Did that save actually prevent life from meeting cruelty or just exchange one life for another?” Additionally, did that broker pull cause so much money to go into the “pulling” of a horse that vetting isn’t even possible? Did anyone qualified screen the “adopter” waiting or even make sure a real home is standing by? Did anyone bother to note that a kill buyer has a quota to fill, and he isn’t sending more or less. He has horses that are going, and they aren’t made “less” from your pull from his lot. He is just made richer.
There is a near static amount given yearly to charity work of all kinds nationwide, statistically.
All charities, animal and human and environmental, compete for this near static pool of donated money each year.
There will never be an endless supply of funding for any good work, so if EQUINE RESCUE is going to have exceptional success, we must be wise with the portion of this funding we are given. We must be wise in how we give, and we must be wise in how it is used if we are the charity receiving.
Our goal, I would hope, is to give the equine world the most lasting impact for the money we have receive in our organizations.
How can we be OUR MOST effective with donation level we have if we Pay $1,500 – 3,000 by the time a single horse is pulled and transported and quarantined – and that is just getting the horse to the rescue, if a rescue is even waiting. Often it isn’t. Often, that money is given, and no one really knows what happens to the horse. There is little to no accountability.
That amount doesn’t count the vet care, board and training that should happen over the following months if the horse lucks out and ends up with a responsible rescue. And what I hear from the rescues that accept these broker horses is that donors drop the ball once the horse is “bailed.”
Heart of Phoenix and most rescues that accept animals control seizures and owner surrenders in desperate needs are looking at no cost to purchase a horse at all, so the donated monies can go to fuel, vetting, training and making sure the organization is here year after year. Even when personally going to auction (which is the sensible way to rescue slaughter bound horses), purchase prices have rarely ran over $150 in our experience for dire needs horses. That varies place to place, but that has been the case in our area.
Think of all the funding used in JUST securing the horse for a rescue that could have been used to save many others and provide after care of the horse while he is readied to be adopted.
To have the most impact, to save the most lives, we really MUST decide to be more sustainable in our approach to be the most effective we can be as the horse rescue community in America.
While a life saved is a life saved, these big broker programs mean a rescue must limit the number they save based on shear economics. It takes 5-10 times the amount to save a broker horse as it does a more local neglect case horse that really, if you judge on condition, needs the rescue more at less cost, oftentimes.
I appreciate anyone sincerely pulling horses in need from whatever venue they chose, and my words here are just my suggestions from my time in equine rescue. That is all, and an organization and donors can take that for whatever they feel it is worth.
Once a horse comes into your rescue, it becomes personal. You are now the responsible party, and you never know how much may be needed for the life you’ve decided to champion.
There are so many.
While we cannot save them all right now, we can work together to make sure the donations we receive to pull horses into these safe havens is working at the most effective rate possible.
And we can stand as a united front against slaughter by working at the legislative level and with our voice and votes to change the law of our land. To make slaughter of horses for consumption illegal, as well as making export for slaughter illegal.
As for HOP, our mission has and will always be to save as many as we can in a way that is Sustainable, having the most impact in the long run for equine welfare.