Friday, December 11, 2009

Veterinarian started a hay bank, found much greater needs as recession worsens horse crisis

When Oregon veterinarian Scott Hansen founded Sound Equine Options, he envisioned the non-profit organization as a hay bank, but he quickly learned that the horse crisis goes farther than he thought. Now SEO serves as a relief fund for horse owners in need, Jacques Von Lunen of The Oregonian reports. The group offered its first free euthanasia clinic two weeks ago and has other programs in the works.

The number of abandoned and neglected horses has been on the rise during the recession, but Hansen says his group's service isn't meant to be a way out for horse owners who can't afford hay. The group only accepts severely ill and suffering animals and reserves the right to refuse service to any horse it deems adoptable upon arrival, Von Lunen reports. During the recession, though, "adoptable" has taken on a broader meaning.

Even affluent owners are cutting vet expenses, and "People on the bottom financially are really putting off" vet care, Hansen said. The group also hopes to establish a roster of vets who certify rescues and create a network of foster homes for horses, and still plans to expand its hay bank, Von Lunen reports. "It just seemed that (euthanasia) was what we could really help out with more than others," Kim Mosiman, Hansen's practice manager, told Von Lunen. The Oregon Horse Welfare Council says funded rescues is key because even well-meaning rescuers can become overwhelmed. (Read more)

1 comment:

elrojo said...

in central north alabama and south tennesee people are trying to sell at giveaway prices horses they no longer think they can afford to keep. i see horses they must have paid a couple of thousand dollars for in the good times for sale for a couple of hundred dollars. sad.