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Hope for Horses Oklahoma

posted February 20th, 2012 by
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By Pat Penn, Founder

As I sat down to start writing this piece, the news came on and reported that 105 horses were found starving and abandoned in Logan County, OK.  Horse skeletons were found scattered throughout the pasture with the starving horses.  One of the horses didn’t make it through the night.  15 were rated as a “1” – the worst condition that can be rated before death.  This is exactly why I’m writing this story.

 

There is a disaster unfolding here in the Heartland that many people aren’t aware of.  Thousands of families are being affected and no one is reporting on this.

 

Due to the blizzards and then the record-breaking drought of 2011, there is no local hay to feed our animals.  Thousands of horses are dying due to starvation.  Hay has to be shipped in from out of state and prices have more than tripled.  Grain prices are up 50-70% since May.  Horse owners cannot afford to feed their horses.  People are going bankrupt trying to keep their horses alive.  You can sell your cows, sheep, etc., if you can’t afford to feed them.  But there is no horse market – you can’t give a horse away.  The equine rescues are past capacity and several have had to be rescued themselves due to bankruptcy.

 

Sale barns are charging up to $300 to put a horse into the sale due to the thousands of horses that have been abandoned there.  Many of these abandoned horses are being shot and put into mass graves.  95% of horses going to the sale are either being destroyed or sent to slaughter.  Most horses aren’t bid on and the average sale price is $3 – $50.  After you pay $20 to $30 for the state required Coggins test, the commission to the sale barn, and the fuel to the sale barn, you are in the red.

 

Most people can’t afford to have a vet euthanize their horse.  It costs $250 just to have your horse’s body removed for rendering if you don’t bury it.

 

The Tulsa World ran a story on Christmas Day 2011 on our charity and my phone has not stopped ringing with horse owners begging for help.  One lady, aged 74 and recently widowed, is feeding her horses loaves of bread trying to keep them alive.  A cowboy called, devastated, telling me how he has already had to shoot six horses due to starvation – they were too weak to stand.  These horses are people’s pets, their companions, members of their families.

 

This is why I started Hope for Horses Oklahoma.  Our goals are:   to help horse owners feed and keep their horses, and to purchase hay and have it shipped into the state.  Even if we have hay this year, it will be July or August before people can start buying decent quality local hay.

 

We are working with feed stores so that horse owners can pick up hay and grain.  No cash is given to individuals, except the hay owners and hay haulers.   Donors can thus rest assured that their donations are being used appropriately.  We are in the process of obtaining a 501(c)(3) non-profit status, therefore all donations are tax deductible.

 

We are in need of monetary donations — $10 – $12 will buy a bale of hay or a sack of feed.  One bale of hay will feed 3-4 horses their hay for the day.  50 pounds of feed will feed 6-8 horses their grain for a day.

 

Please help if you can.  Donations can be made at any branch of Bank of Oklahoma or mailed to Hope for Horses Oklahoma, c/o Pat Penn, HC-60, Box 91-A, Castle, OK  74833.  Please call 1-918-623-0064 for more information. Thank you for your support.  Our Oklahoma horses and their owners are deeply grateful for any help you can give.

 

Pat Penn

Hope for Horses Oklahoma