In the U.S., the issue of unwanted horses is complicated and volatile with opinions on both sides of the fence. Some horse-lovers argue that the skyrocketing numbers of unwanted horses stem from irresponsible breeding, while others blame the wasteful nature of huge businesses such as the racing and PMU industries, where oftentimes horses are essentially discarded once they no longer earn an income. Regardless of the root cause of where these horses come from, many passionate horse lovers are devoted to finding new forever homes for these horses through non-profit rescue organizations. One of these rescues is Pregnant Mare Rescue.
Pregnant Mare Rescue is a 7-year-old horse rescue operation currently located in Santa Cruz County. Annually, over 100,000 horses are shipped to slaughterhouses outside the country. PMR’s primary goal is to keep as many American horses out of slaughterhouses as possible, with a specific focus on particularly at-risk pregnant mares and orphaned foals. The rescue achieves this through varied means such as adoptions, vet care, education, training, and healing horses through a new career in equine therapy. Using these methods, PMR has saved over 100 horses from a slaughterhouse fate. The rescued mares and foals have come from a variety of environments including PMU farms in Canada, BLM roundups in Nevada, and Thoroughbred tracks.
In addition to the devotion to finding horses new forever homes, PMR has partnered with The Workability Program and Teen Challenge House to implement a unique therapy program using resident rescued equines. The therapeutic nature of horses works to help heal both human and equine spirits and generates emotional, physical, and mental well-being in both species. The program benefits a multitude of adults including those struggling with physical and mental disabilities, as well as those suffering from backgrounds of abuse.
Conducting all of these altruistic activities can cost a small fortune, especially when they happen in the Bay Area. With rapidly rising costs for hay, vet care, and transportation, running a horse rescue is an extremely costly endeavor. In order to help off-set some of the costs of caring for the rescued horses, PMR is currently in process to purchase a 120-acre property. This property will be home to a number of rescued horses that are no longer able to co-exist in regular private homes with humans, due to the level of physical or emotional trauma they have endured. These horses will be able to receive the care they need to humanely and peacefully live out their lives on the PMR property.
The number of horses a group like Pregnant Mare Rescue saves is only limited by man hours and dollars. Not only are volunteers needed to help care for the horses, donations are critical to the success of the rescue. Donations directly benefit horses by providing necessary food, vet care, and housing. For those interested in helping save the horses, see PMR’s website for a list of specific needs such as fundraising, event organization, and fence building. For a list of horses currently available for adoption, see here.
To stay tuned for upcoming PMR events and rescue related information, subscribe to the San Jose Horses Examiner using the link above.
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