NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced that it has issued an emergency grant for $30,000 to Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) in Larkspur, Co. for their efforts to help horses evacuated to local equine facilities during the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County. The resources of local organizations are tapped due to the breadth of this fire, which has destroyed more than 500 homes and 15,000 acres, making the Black Forest Fire the most destructive in Colorado history, ahead of the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012.
"Horses have been central to the ASPCA's work since our founding in 1866, and we are honored to be able to support the efforts of Front Range Equine Rescue in their response to the devastating wildfire in Colorado's Black Forest," said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. "This tragic event has impacted hundreds of horse owners, and we applaud the local groups who are stepping up to help care for displaced equines during this very difficult time."
When the Black Forest fire began, FRER launched into action, taking in several evacuated horses and contacting evacuation sites to help provide hay and other supplies. Several semi-loads of hay were delivered to hundreds of displaced horses, and FRER has been working with two veterinary practices to offer financial aid to the injured or sick horses removed from the fire.
"While the flames and billowing smoke are gone, the devastation caused by the Black Forest Fire will remain for a long time," said Hilary Wood, president and founder of FRER. "Many horse owners have lost everything and do not want to part with their beloved equines. Front Range Equine Rescue has pledged to continue assisting horse owners in need, and with the very generous help of an emergency grant from the ASPCA, this effort can continue."
At the height of the fire, the evacuation area included 94,000 acres and 13,000 homes. Roughly 38,000 people were evacuated, and a significant portion of those evacuees are horse owners. The funds for this grant will be used to continue providing hay/feed to horses left homeless by the fire, and to schedule trailer loading clinics so that owners are better prepared for disasters like this in the future. FRER has partnered with Rockin’ B Feed in the Black Forest to offer starter kits – which include basic supplies for grooming, health care, and clean up – to horse owners who have full or partial losses.
In 2012, the ASPCA awarded $1.8 million in the form of over 250 grants to equine welfare groups throughout the United States, including 58 grants to equine rescues in Colorado for a total of $410,700. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the United States for purposes in alignment with their efforts to protect horses. The grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices.
To learn more about the ASPCA Equine Fund, please visit www.aspcapro.org.