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The HSUS and Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue Gain Custody of Horses Who Survived Trailer Accident in Oklahoma

The Humane Society of the United States and Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue secured custody today of 17 horses who survived a horrific horse trailer accident in Oklahoma in May.  The horses—who were bound for slaughter when the accident occurred—will now have a chance at being adopted into loving homes.

"These horses had already been through so much, and still faced the possibility of being shipped to slaughter when we intervened," said Cynthia Armstrong, The HSUS' Oklahoma state director. "We are very happy that the owner agreed to give these horses a shot at living a full life, in the comfort of a loving family."

The horses were among a group of 30 equines who were being transported in a tractor-trailer to slaughter in May when the driver fell asleep at the wheel, and the truck overturned on Turner Turnpike. Eleven horses were killed in the crash or had to be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries. Two more horses died later as a result of injuries sustained in the wreck.

The HSUS and Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue worked together to negotiate the release of the remaining horses from their Missouri-based owner, a slaughterhouse middleman know as a "killer buyer." Through the negotiations, the killer buyer ultimately decided he wanted to "do the right thing" by allowing these horses to go up for adoption.

Two anonymous donors provided the funding needed to cover the costs to secure the release of the horses, their transport to Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue's facility and their immediate veterinary needs. The horses will remain in the care of the horse rescue group until they are ready to be adopted.

"I am so glad that these horses now have a second chance at life. They were doomed for slaughter for human consumption, suffered a trailer wreck and now have a chance to be part of someone's family," said Natalee Cross, president of Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue. "They will know what love is and no longer fear what is around the corner. They have a new beginning and one that we hope you, as a potential adopter, will join us and give these horses the forever, loving home they deserve."

Each year, tens of thousands of American horses are transported over long distances, without food, water and rest, to horrific deaths at foreign-owned slaughter plants. The HSUS is working to pass federal legislation, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S.727) to permanently end the slaughter of American horses for human consumption abroad.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.


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