MSPCA Seeks Donor Aid for Horse Care

Horse surrenders continue to climb as economy declines

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) recently requested community-based financial assistance to help cover the cost of medical assistance and daily care for the extraordinary number of horses being surrendered to the nonprofit's Equine Center at Nevins Farm. At the end of November the Nevins Farm facility had 30 horses in its care, which is 43% more than the farm's population in 2007. This is causing the MSPCA to seek temporary foster homes for some horses until acceptable, permanent homes are found for each horse.

"It is heart-wrenching to witness the surrender of a horse that can no longer be cared for by its owner due to financial hardships," said Melissa Ghareeb, Nevins Farm barn manager. "It is our responsibility to care for and champion these animals as we seek out their new homes. Caring for 30 horses on our farm and through temporary foster homes at an average monthly cost of $320 per horse has brought our Ashton's Fund barn animal funding dangerously low."

The MSPCA continues to receive horses at an alarming average rate of nearly one per week (although a total of five horses arrived in one week in late November, further stretching the MSPCA's limited resources). Many of the surrendered horses require veterinary care, ranging from simple vaccinations to costly surgeries, and since the organization doesn't have any funding from state or federal government, the MSPCA is hoping that individuals will step forward to help.

Ashton's Fund is designated for the provision of medical care for horses and farm animals and is named in honor of a young foal that arrived at Nevins Farm in 2006, requiring expensive surgery. 

Even as individual owners are facing the increased cost of farriers, hay, grain, and veterinary services, the Equine Center is also impacted by these very same factors. Housing is also a concern since horse adoptions are less frequent than adoptions of small animals. Some horses have been at Nevins Farm from one to four years.

Contributions to Ashton's Fund may be donated online by clicking here, or you can mail donations to the MSPCA's Equine Center, 400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844, attention Ashton's Fund.

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