Kentucky's Equine Safety Net Program Modifies Eligibility Requirements

According to a recent report, one out of every 10 work-eligible Kentuckians is unemployed. In response to the significant increase in jobless horse owners, the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) has modified eligibility requirements for its Equine Safety Net program.

Started in April 2007, Equine Safety Net provides feed for horses owned by individuals who have recently lost a job or suffered an injury which prevents them from working. Through the Equine Safety Net program, KHC provides hay and grain for up to two horses for 30 days for approved applicants.

Historically Equine Safety Net supported the care of horses whose owners suffered a job loss or injury within 90 days of application. Because of recent eligibility changes, the program is now available to those with a verifiable change in work status within six months and recipients may, for the first time, apply for a 30-day extension of Safety Net support.

"When we started Equine Safety Net three years ago, both the economy and unemployment rate were in significantly better condition than they are today," explained Madelyn Millard, KHC board president. "By broadening the eligibility requirements for Safety Net we will be able to help more horse owners and their horses through this challenging time."

Kentucky horse owners applying for Equine Safety Net provide documentation of the change in work status or injury and proof of responsible horse management practices including veterinarian and feed receipts. All Equine Safety Net applications are carefully reviewed and handled on a case by case basis. KHC also works with horse owners to identify alternative options if they do not qualify for this program.

Recipients of the program are asked to give back to the horse community by volunteering for eight hours with the Horse Council or at a KHC-sponsored activity.

Equine Safety Net is funded by the Kentucky Horse Council's Save Our Horses (SoHo) Fund. SoHo accepts tax deductible contributions to support health and welfare programs for Kentucky's horses including Equine Safety Net, feeding confiscated horses, geld vouchers, Livestock Investigation Training, and more.

For more information including requirements for Equine Safety Net call the Kentucky Horse Council at 859/367-0509 or 866/634-0030.

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