On June 7, the ASPCA announced a $5,000 grant awarded to the equine rescue group Speak Up for Horses. The funding was gifted to assist with the care and placement of 48 severely neglected horses seized by local law authorities during a cruelty raid in Breckenridge County, Kentucky.
In April 2009, authorities discovered 11 dead horses and another 48 starving on a Breckenridge County farm. After the conviction of the farm owner, the horses were slated for auction and possible slaughter. Fortunately, with the support of Breckenridge County Executive Judge Ray Powers, Speak Up for Horses was able to acquire the animals and begin the slow process of rehabilitation. Speak Up for Horses supports the rescue of slaughter-bound horses and partners with a variety of equine organizations to rescue at-risk equines.
“Caring for 48 neglected horses is extremely rewarding, but also challenging,” says Shelly Price, Board Secretary of Speak Up for Horses. “It is imperative for us to give these horses humane care and ensure that they live out their lives in peaceful retirement. Without the ASPCA's support, this would not have been possible.”
Of the original 48 rescued, more than 30 have been placed in new homes, where an additional 10 foals have been born. The remaining 16 horses are currently receiving additional training to increase their opportunities for adoption.
“The sad reality is that abandoned and neglected horses often end up at auctions, or even worse, slaughterhouses, where their lives come to a brutal end,” says Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of Community Initiatives for the ASPCA. “Speak Up for Horses has been instrumental in rescuing at-risk horses while increasing awareness about equine welfare."
For more information, please check out the history of the ASPCA’s horse protection efforts.