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July 14, 2010

State Horse Welfare Councils and Coalitions

Benefiting horse rescue organizations and horse owners in need

The HSUS's Equine Protection program is the primary source for official HSUS policies, resources and information on equine welfare issues. Several of HSUS's state directors are also taking the lead in bringing together various groups to form horse welfare councils and coalitions in their respective states.

Modeled after the program established in Oregon, these councils and coalitions typically have the following goals:

  • develop a hay assistance program to provide direct feed relief to needy rescue organizations, horse owners and law enforcement agencies

  • enlist the help of rescue organizations, private individuals and breed groups to establish a statewide network of temporary and foster homes for horses in need (including animals seized by law enforcement in abuse, neglect and abandonment cases)

  • develop a website and/or database to serve as a primary information source for the public

  • enlist the cooperation of veterinarians to provide low-cost veterinary services (including low-cost gelding programs to prevent unwanted or irresponsible breeding)

  • explore programs to provide low-cost euthanasia and carcass removal options for owners faced with no other alternatives

In addition, the horse welfare councils seek to provide direct assistance to animals, owners and rescue organizations in need; develop useful contacts for HSUS state directors among traditional and nontraditional allies; and encourage law enforcement agencies to aggressively investigate and prosecute crimes against horses by promising logistical support for animals seized as part of that action.

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