Monday, 25 February 2013 by Keith Bahlmann
The past several years of drought across Texas means times are tough for horses and the rescues that help them. Barren pastures caused by the drought mean that horses must go without grass, and the cost of hay has risen drastically. Some owners can't afford the increase in feed costs, and their horses have suffered.
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) and other horse rescues have struggled to cope with the effects of the drought. The increased costs of horse-keeping means fewer people are able to adopt or foster but the demand for rescue assistance increases. Over the past three years, many rescues have closed their doors and are unable to help any additional horses.
BEHS is one of the organizations that continues to work with law enforcement agencies across the state to save the lives of starving horses and provides hopes for abandoned, abused, and estray horses, donkeys, mules, and ponies. However the organization's resources are stretched thin.
Fortunately for the horses who depend on BEHS, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) awarded $7500 to the organization to help offset the cost of hay for the foster homes.
Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Williams says, "We normally do not reimburse our foster homes for the cost of hay but many of our foster homes have had to cut back or stop fostering due to the increased costs of horse keeping. We're hoping this program will allow members foster again, allowing us to take in more horses, donkeys, and mules."
While the grant from the ASPCA® has helped Bluebonnet tremendously, the organization needs help from the community in order to continue helping needy horses. Bluebonnet is accepting donations to its Hay for Fosters program which will underwrite the costs of hay for foster homes. The organization also needs foster homes who can help rehabilitate and house needy equines, and Bluebonnet has approximately 80 horses and donkeys waiting for adopters.