Record Number of Horses Surrendered to MSPCA; Assistance Needed

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) at Nevins Farm is receiving a record number of surrendered equines and is seeking adopters as well as donations for the horses' continued rehabilitation and medical care. The number of horses surrendered to the non-profit in 2009 will surpass last year's total by early September, with 13 horses scheduled to be surrendered in the next few weeks. The boom in surrenders is expected to increase in the fall and winter months as the weather grows cold and purchased hay becomes a premium as grazing will no longer be a viable option.

"Since Nevins Farm is the region's only open admissions animal care and adoption center for farm animals and horses, we are experiencing a tremendous increase in surrendered horses due to the poor economy," said Melissa Ghareeb, manager of the Nevins Farm Equine & Farm Animal Adoption Center. "We spend months rehabilitating horses that arrive in all states of care, from healthy and strong to walking skeletons with a history of malnutrition. The growing number of horses in our care also strains our financial resources at an average of $320 every month to care for each horse."

The surrendering of horses is a rising trend in Massachusetts evidenced by surrender of 21 horses to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in 2007 and 39 more equines in 2008. The surrendered horses are also added to the numerous equines that remain in the care of the MSPCA at Nevins Farm year to year as homes are sought. This trend is expected to continue as the MSPCA at Nevins Farm has received 35 surrendered horses thus far in 2009. As horses arrive at the MSPCA, they are evaluated for health and soundness, as well as a skill set, which enables the staff to match each horse with an adopter. Many of the horses require medical care, from simple vaccines to surgeries. The MSPCA is dependent on its equine medical fund, Ashton's Hope Fund, to provide this care to the horses at the farm.

Ghareeb said that she hopes more adopters will come forward in the next few weeks, and that individuals who might not be in a position to adopt might choose to donate funds for the medical care of animals in need. Ghareeb also invited horse owners to participate in the Equine Center's fundraising events, including the upcoming Horses Helping Horses Beach Ride scheduled for October 4.

For more information on the adoption process or to view available horses, visit mspca.org/nevins, or contact the Equine Center staff at 978/687-7453 x 6113.

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