It wasn't what you would think of as a typical 911 call. Terrified her horse was drowning in the Umpqua River, an Oregon woman called 911 for help. She had been with her horse at the county fairgrounds when her horse spooked and jumped into the fast-moving current of the river. Frantic, the woman tried to swim after her but couldn't catch up. She returned to shore and called for help. This particular story has a happy ending—Douglas County Animal Control Deputy Lee Bartholomew responded with a swift water rescue team and the horse was saved.
Shortly before the dramatic river rescue, local responders had taken a large animal rescue training course funded in part with a grant from the ASPCA. Strawberry Mountain Mustangs, an Oregon nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates equines, applied for an ASPCA grant to help train law enforcement, fire departments and animal control agencies in the rescue of large animals. Because state and county governments had drastically cut budgets, most of the participants could not have attended the training program without financial assistance.
Could Your Local Shelter Use a Grant?
During the first half of 2012, the ASPCA made 828 grants, totaling over $7.6 million. Our robust grant program helps save animals across the country, and we are always grateful when our recipients let us know how the funds have helped. If you know of an organization that could use financial assistance, please visit our Grants section.