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Growing number of abandoned horses in Saskatchewan
Published Wednesday, January 19, 2011 1:50PM CST
There have been several reports of abandoned and uncared for horses in Saskatchewan. Winter hits and owners let go of the reigns.
Paradise Stable Horse Rescue is one of the only places in Saskatchewan that takes in abandoned horses. Owner Bunnie Harasyn says during this busy winter, she's been forced to turn away horses every day.
"Right now, we've got four coming in and then we're at our max until we can rehome some. Unless we get donations of pens, and we need gates; it's a never ending saga. And we need manpower," says Harasyn.
The bitter prairie winter isn't helping the desperate situation. The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the number of calls they've received in the last several months about horses has dramatically increased.
Frances Wach works with the Saskatchewan SPCA and believes money is a big factor in abandoning horses. "I think some of the factors that impact the number of complaints we've received include economics, the market value of horses is down, there's an oversupply of horses due to overbreeding, and this year in some places, there's been poor quality hay."
Some horses have been abandoned and left to starve. Others faced being sent to slaughter. Luckily, a few horses made their way to Paradise Stable Horse Rescue.
The Harasyns care for them, but most of the money comes out of their own pocket. One way the public can help is by sponsoring a horse. Harasyn says the program costs 25 dollars a month, as long as people commit to regular visits.
The horse rescue is desperately trying to find homes for these animals so they can continue to take on more. The SSPCA says owners need to call in if they can no longer care for their horses so the animals aren't left to die. And, the agency adds, owners should prevent the animals from breeding so this cycle of abandonment can be stopped.