Sunday, February 18, 2007

Texas: Twenty-five neglected horses seized

Press Release--

BLUEBONNET EQUINE HUMANE SOCIETY AND TRUE BLUE ANIMAL RESCUE TAKE IN TWENTY FIVE NEGLECTED HORSES IN ROBERTSON COUNTY, TEXAS - ORGANIZATION IN DESPERATE NEED OF ASSISTANCE

After seizing approximately 25 horses and 100 cattle from a Robertson County property near Franklin, Texas, Robertson County Sheriff's Deputies called Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) late last week to ask for their assistance with the horses. Deputies first investigated the case after receiving complaints of dead animals visible from the road. They found several dead cattle and two dead horses on the property. Due to the number of animals involved, Robertson County officials knew they needed assistance, and BEHS Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Williams said the organization was pleased to be able to help, "Our goal is to make life easier for the authorities when it comes to horse neglect cases. We'll help investigate reports of neglect, try to teach the owners to take care of their horses when possible or take the horses in after they've been permanently removed from their owners - whatever the authorities need."

BEHS is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated as a non-profit in both Texas and Arkansas and is funded through donations and fundraisers put on by volunteers, but the organization's resources are running thin. They worried that they couldn't help all 25 horses, so they called True Blue Animal Rescue (TBAR), a 501(c)(3) rescue helping both horses and small animals in Washington County, Texas. TBAR's founder and President, Melanie DeAeth, quickly agreed to take half of the horses. When asked why she agreed to help Bluebonnet, Melanie said, "Two rescues working together is a great way to show how many rescues there are and how many horses need help." TBAR has responded to many horse neglect cases this year in both Burleson and Washington Counties.

When asked why the organizations were so busy, Dr. Williams responded, "Winter is always a tough time for horses. The grass dries up and some owners don't realize that the horses need hay and grain. We can teach those owners how to take care of their horses, but some owners aren't willing to feed enough to keep the animals healthy. If the horses are suffering, we have to step in."

Both organizations rely on volunteers for help, and there are several ways that horse enthusiasts can help the rescues help more animals:

- Foster! If you have space for even one more horse, please become a foster home. Foster homes are the heart of both organizations - they rehabilitate the horses and give them a second chance at life. Mentoring programs pair up new foster homes with those who are experienced at rehabilitating horses. The experienced foster homes guide and instruct new foster homes so that they can learn how to help the horses who need them.

-Adopt! If you are considering adding another horse to your family, look at the rescue horses. Both organizations have many horses who are broke to ride and others who are at a perfect age to start training. There are talented horses who can become your next ranch horse, trail horse, or even show horse. And if all you want is a pet/companion, the rescues have those, too.

-Join! By becoming a member, you support the work of BEHS and TBAR. Your membership fees help run the rescues and pay the vet bills for these horses as well as the cost of performing seizures and investigations.

-Volunteer! Both BEHS and TBAR need people who can help investigate neglect, help check out potential foster/adoptive homes, check up on the organization's horses, work at fundraisers, find donations, and more. If you have the time, the rescue can find a volunteer spot for you.

-Donate! It takes months of rehabilitation for starved horses to recover, and during that time they wrack up veterinary bills, farrier bills and feed bills. The rescues need money to help care for the horses, pay vet bills and the costs of investigating neglect. If you have used or new tack you don't need, you can donate that for the organization to sell and raise additional money. All donations are tax-deductible as BEHS and TBAR are both 501(c)(3) organizations.

There are hundreds of horses, donkeys and mules who need your help. Together, we can make a difference.

For more information about Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, please visit www.bluebonnetequine.org, call the 888-542-5163 or email Dr.Williams at jenn@bluebonnetequine.org. For more information about True Blue Animal Rescue, visit http://www.tbar.org, call 936-878-2349 or email help@t-bar.org.

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