ASPCA Responders on Scene of Animal Rescue in Erie County

Providing Care & Temporary Shelter for more than 70 Horses Rescued from East Aurora Farm by SPCA Serving Erie County
March 25, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), under the authority and request of the SPCA Serving Erie County, N.Y., has dispatched its Field Investigations and Response Team to assist in the sheltering management and care of more than 70 horses rescued last week from an East Aurora, N.Y. farm.

Jeff Eyre, the ASPCA’s Northeast Director of Field Investigations and Response, said the ASPCA is establishing sheltering teams comprised of skilled horse handlers and staff for feeding, watering and cleaning for the next two to three weeks.

“Our goal is to help the SPCA Serving Erie County rehabilitate these horses, both physically and behaviorally," added Mr. Eyre. “We are glad to be able to provide support to the SPCA and the Erie County community.”

For the horses’ extended care, the ASPCA will grant $10,000 to the SPCA Serving Erie County and recruited members of the American Humane Association to assist in their sheltering and care over the next three weeks. The ASPCA also contacted local veterinarians to provide pro-bono veterinary exams for the horses and provided a livestock trailer for transport.

"So many people have been emotionally affected by this case--not just SPCA staff and volunteers, but hundreds of members of the community who are communicating with us through phone calls, e-mails, and letters," says SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr. "The fact that the ASPCA has stepped in with such an extreme level of assistance and care for these beautiful animals is overwhelming. It will make a difference not only in the lives of the horses, but in the minds of everyone involved."

Gina Browning, the SPCA’s Director of Public Relations, said the case was the largest and most costly in at least four decades, and that the organization will continue to accept donations from the community for the horses’ ongoing care and treatment. “We have a long-standing commitment to this community: to protect our animals and prevent animal cruelty. Every single donor and volunteer is a partner in helping us save these animals.”

ASPCA responders arrived Tuesday to begin caring for 73 horses found in what is believed to be one of the area’s largest big animal rescues ever. Over 100 animals—including 53 cats and four dogs —were found living in extremely unsanitary conditions, with limited outside interaction. The cats and dogs are being cared for at the SPCA’s Tonawanda shelter.