Local News

Nonprofit equine group finds itself in need

Posted March 4, 2010 1:46 p.m. EST
Updated March 4, 2010 6:19 p.m. EST

— When horses are confiscated during animal cruelty investigations, the Equine Rescue League is contacted to help these animals find foster care.

But the recent down economy is hurting the nonprofit’s ability to help horses, like Duramax which was confiscated during an animal cruelty investigation in Alamance County.

“He was found tied to a truck with a chain,” said Jennifer Malpass, regional director of the U.S. Equine Rescue League.

Duramax was found emaciated and with a serious leg injury. “This horse probably within a week would have been dead. He was that far gone,” she said.

The Equine Rescue league gave the horse emergency veterinary care and a place to stay while he recovered.

Horses involved in these investigations need care that counties are unable to provide, Malpass said. “Counties do not have a budget for horses or facilities for horses,” she said.

The Equine Rescue League relies on volunteers and donations to provide these services. Like many nonprofits, the recent downturn in the economy has them struggling to get both.

“Unfortunately, it’s meant that we have had to turn away counties when they are asking us for assistance,” Malpass said.

The need for the Equine Rescue League’s services is increasing, Malpass said. While horse abuse and neglect has always been a problem, it has recently gotten worse.

Malpass said some people get into the expensive horse business and find themselves in over their heads.

“A lot of people, unfortunately, are still breeding every year, despite the fact that they haven't sold prior years’ stocks because of the poor economy, and it becomes overwhelming for them,” she said.

On average, the Equine Rescue League helps close to 200 horses a year.

“Last year, the need was even greater, so we probably could have taken in more,” she said.