ASPCA Grant Helps Treat 160 Horses Battling West Nile Virus in Nevada

Funding to Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue Provides Critical Care for Rescued Horses
August 23, 2010

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a grant of $12,000 to Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue of Lancaster, Calif. after the organization rescued wild horses from the auction block. The funds will be used to provide critical veterinary care for 160 horses, now battling an outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Nevada where they are being rehabilitated.

Initially, the organization rescued 166 horses. Unfortunately, six horses died due to the virus and it is estimated that 10 percent of the remaining herd could become infected. Transmitted by mosquitoes and sometimes fatal, West Nile Virus affects countless horses during the summer. Symptoms include stumbling, staggering, wobbly gait, circling, hind limb weakness, inability to stand, muscle twitching, fever, seizure, coma, and paralysis.

"These horses were lucky enough to escape slaughter, and Lifesavers is making an extraordinary effort to provide for them during this unfortunate outbreak," said Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of Community Initiatives for the ASPCA. To decrease the spread of infection among the horses, Lifesavers is working with veterinarians to vaccinate the herd. "Treating such a large group of animals is a challenging task and the ASPCA is honored to assist the organization in providing these horses with a second chance," Schultz added.

 "Caring for these horses is our top  priority, and we are determined to nurse them back to health, prepare them for adoption and give them the opportunity to live the rest of their lives as comfortably as possible," said Jill Starr, President and Founder of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. "We are grateful to all who have supported our rehabilitation of these horses, especially the ASPCA, which made our efforts possible."

Since 1997, Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, a program of the non-profit organization Lifesavers, Inc., has provided refuge, training and adoption placement for hundreds of horses in need. Its mission is to help horses, not just by providing refuge and medical care, but by finding new lifetime homes for the horses, and fostering lifetime learning, understanding, and advocacy among horse lovers.

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. Most ASPCA Equine Fund grants are awarded to those organizations whose focus and expertise is concentrated on reducing the suffering of horses, mules, and donkeys that have been abandoned or cruelly treated.