I think that one of the hardest things that "rescue folks" have to deal with, is saying "no". There are so many lost, injured and/or homeless animals out there that you simply cannot take every one that needs help. It is so heartbreaking when you have to say "no, I can't take him/her". You have to be realistic. Can enough money be raised to get the horse(s) where it needs to be? Then, what are the chances that a good and safe forever home can be found for that animal. We have noticed that everyone wants you to "take them", but then who is going to support them the rest of their lives? Our specialty is the critically ill, neonatal, and/or injured foals. It is very specialized and since not everyone is set up to do it, we have to make sure that we don't fill a "critical spot" with an animal that someone else could take on. Whereas most any "horse person" could take a young foal with it's natural mother, most folks just don't have the time or ability to literally stay up 24/7 with these babies and do nothing else for however long it takes. You literally have to put your life on hold. Since this is what we do, (having chronic pain and not being able to sleep can be a blessing I guess - haha), we need to make sure that we are always ready for the next little critical emergency.
This brings up another question for folks to ponder. Should any sanctuary be breeding? Do you want to support sanctuaries that are flooding the market with more unwanted horses? In most cases, a horse rescue or sanctuary breeding within their organization is no better than the SPCA or animal shelters breeding more unwanted cats and dogs. * * (I do know that there is one sanctuary in Los Molinos that is trying to make sure that a specific breed of horse is not completely wiped out. The horses they are breeding are amazing and are headed towards extinction. I do understand and applaud them. In cases like this, where we risk losing that particular breed forever, there is a valid reason to breed.) * *
However, there are thousands (the number is most likely much much higher than that) of unwanted horses heading through the auction yards that are slaughter bound. What can you do when you get the call? Last week I was contacted about a mare and foal that were slaughter bound. I was sent a photo of that beautiful little baby, and it will forever be burned into my mind. I got the message after the auction was finished. So now I have a picture of that sweet little face in my mind that won't go away. There were kill buyers at the auction and no one knows where the mom and baby are now. The next day, I received a call about a pregnant mare with a baby still nursing at her side. Again, the kill buyers were at the auction, but I could not say yes to 3 more mouths to feed. This gave me nightmares also. When a pregnant mare is prepared for slaughter there is absolutely no care or thought to whether she is pregnant or whether the baby is handled in a humane manner when it is thrown away.
Unfortunately, this is not a rare happening and we are fast running out of places for horses to go. If you are looking for a horse, please do check out the auctions. The horses that are being run through are often very well trained, but simply "unwanted" horses. So many folks still don't get the fact that there are "free horses" that are going to end up at the slaughter house simply because the folks that used to own them can't afford them any longer. There doesn't have to be anything wrong with the horse, just a shortage of good homes for it to end up there. So be sure and check out what horses are available if you would like to adopt one.
Also, when you choose where to adopt a wild horse, please consider first the ones that are born in the wild. BLM has thousands of horses in holding pens. Why not choose to adopt one of those horses and give them a better life. There is also an amazing Wild Mustang Training program at the Carson City prison. These horses are amazing and are auctioned off at different times throughout the year. The training they receive is amazing, and by supporting those adoptions, you also help save more wild horses. Otherwise you end up supporting the folks that are breeding on purpose and causing more of the wild ones to end up headed to slaughter. If someone wants to breed their own horse and keep the baby, that is their choice. But when you are flooding an already full market by randomly bringing more babies into this world, then you should be prepared to keep those babies and take care of them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, rescues are breeding more babies, and then continue to ask for more and more money. This takes valuable dollars away from other rescues that are trying to help the problem, not add to it. There are many rescues out there housing a large number of horses. They are not adding to the already flooded horse market, but receive fewer donations because other rescues that are adding to the problem are also asking for help. So please, make sure you know who you are donating to, and try and help the ones who are really helping instead of adding to the vast numbers of unwanted horses that end up at the slaughter plant.
Just the other day I received a request to pick up a blind, 6 week old Andalusian colt with a bad leg. We had wonderful folks ready and anxious to help us get this little guy, but they found someone much closer to his location down in Southern California. But the phone never stops ringing and the emails never cease. It is so heartbreaking and just plain depressing to have to turn away these beautiful little creatures, especially when they are sick, injured or orphaned.
We here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang are extremely fortunate. Our extended family is always there to help us if we have a critical baby or need help when we have to pick one up. We also have a really wonderful adoption program and are very happy that our babies are finding amazing homes. Thank you all so much for everything you do to save God's creatures.
We look forward to seeing you at our Open House on the 17th of August. It makes me feel so good to be able to say thank you in person and share with y'all what you have accomplished. Keep it up and remember, when you are deciding on an adoption, please choose the ones that will end up in slaughter as opposed to the ones that are bred on purpose because it makes for cute pictures and fun visits. Below is one of the faces that will haunt me forever. This is the baby that was at the auction with his mom and I was too late to help. The kill buyer was there.............