NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it awarded $1,682,352 in the form of 183 grants to support equine rescue groups in 38 states in 2011. This number represents a $600,000 increase over 2010, the first year equine grants exceeded the million dollar mark.
“With record drought and hay prices in the stratosphere, we are thrilled the ASPCA Equine Fund has been able to extend its support to so many more agencies in need,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “In these tough economic times, many equine organizations would not have been able to help horses without additional funding. The ASPCA remains committed to equine rescue and welfare efforts.”
Twenty-seven percent of the equine grant money was distributed to 13 thoroughbred rescue organizations in 2011, the second year of the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers initiative, a program to save retired racehorses from neglect, abuse, and slaughter. In addition, 70 equine organizations received 23 percent of the funds to provide emergency feed support, including funds that were distributed through the “Hay Bale-Out” program for horses impacted by the high cost and low supply of hay in drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma. An additional 13 percent of the funds were distributed to 35 equine rescues and sanctuaries for capital improvements for safety and expansion. Grants were also awarded to organizations for additional education on best practices, to conduct disaster preparedness training, rehabilitate equines rescued from cruelty and neglect, and to provide a safety net for low-income horse owners.
Texas and California each received 26 grants, more than any of the other states. Both are in the top three states for equine ownership. California has more equine rescues than any other state; Texas was hit hard last year by a record-setting heat wave and drought resulting in a tremendous need for hay transported from out of state.
The ASPCA Equine Fund provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the United States for purposes in alignment with its efforts to protect horses. The ASPCA Equine Fund grants program seeks to award equine organizations that strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of up-to-date websites and robust fundraising practices.