Horse Rescue Farms Overwhelmed
The drought is making feed prices so expensive, people are having to give up their horses for free, but the problem is, there's nowhere for them to go. Video by fox47news.comvideo
Horses Haven in Howell is one of the biggest rescue farms for horses in the state: "We have 58 hoofed animals on the property," said President Jill Fredrickson.
But even with 23 acres of land, the farm run by volunteers and donations can't afford to take care of any more: "We do have a waiting list that's about 100 horses long and a couple years to get into Horses Haven," and some of those horses live as far away as the Upper Peninsula.
Horses Haven isn't the only place having this problem; right now there are about 20 other rescue farms in Michigan and all of them are full.
MSU Equine Extension Specialist Karen Waite says this is always a problem in a tough economy, but now mixed with the drought, the number of orphaned horses is overwhelming: "Feed prices are going up either a third to a half."
And now that many owners can't find anyone to take their pets, they are resorting to abandoning them, or having them slaughtered; abandonment being the cheaper option of the two since the closest slaughtering plant is in Canada.
"There's no easy solution," continued Waite, and the number of horses left starving could climb higher. "For folks that haven't taken the time to figure out what they are going to do, we could see increased issues as the winter progresses."
In the meantime, rescue farms are in need of donations, and quick. Even if you could donate your time to help keep a few horses company.
To help Horses Haven in Howell call: (517) 548-4880
Otherwise, check out the other rescue farms in Michigan here: http://www.michigan-horse.com/michigan-horse-rescues.asp