Heart of Phoenix has and will always focus on neglect and cruelty cases as the main source of equines within the organization, but in 2018, we are transitioning one of our foster facilities.
We have some members of the team that have a heart to pull horses that can be re-purposed – re-used – recycled from stock sales or auctions. It hasn’t been a focus of HOP in the past, though historically we have done a select few pulls every few years, like Snow White, Kate, Jake Fiddy, Neo and 2 sets of Nurse Mare foals. We have also intercepted various horses where known traders and kill buyers were planning to pick up or purchase the horses.
When the stockyard near our main base closed some years ago, it made auction assistance difficult, and so we haven’t done this in a while.
We have a Kentucky foster who lives near several small auctions no rescues frequent to our knowledge, and while the numbers run through are not tremendous, the potential fates are the same as with any auction. At these smaller spots, prices are usually quite low and these are places where traders pick up equines to take to larger sales like Sugar Creek. This is key, for us, because it means the purchase prices of these horses will be quite low.
Because seizure cases with animal control are rare in this area of Kentucky due to poor laws and even more poor understanding of the laws, what we have focused on in the past was moving horses from WV, once their rehab is well started, to be fostered at this spot, but it is a long haul to get them there.
This foster has the ability to quarantine and has several trainers who have worked with HOP who live near by. They will bring a knowledge base to the table to help assist in pulling horses with a good chance of going into homes as sound, sane partners with evaluation and/or training. We have decided moving in 2018, this spot will solely be for auction pulls.
The vet, farrier and dental care at this foster location is significantly less than our core locations in West Virginia, so economically, we feel this will be the absolutely best use of this facility and volunteer base.
This program will be called “ACTION,” with a plan on stamping out the sad fates some horses meet at auctions or once they end up with actual traders working with kill buyers, or the buyers themselves. While it will not take away from our focus (which is the neglected animal control seized horse), we believe our growth is such that expanding our focus is now possible.
The goal will be to have a team of two to four savvy horsemen and women make logical pulls of good horses in need at a price that is within kill buyer range, rehab the horses and market them well, and find adopters expediently, with excellent homes, so that auction pulls can take place every 6 weeks or so. Should they see a need to offer a dignified end to a horse without hope of a pain free life, they will offer this, as they are able, too.
The focus will be small stockyard, but a fraction will come from BLM horses that have failed to find homes so many times, they are offered for tiny fees to unscreened homes.
We will set a funding goal each month, so donors know what is needed to help 2-3 horses at any given time.