Lackluster economic conditions, debilitating drought, and overwhelmed owners put many horses at risk for neglect or maltreatment in 2012. Some of those animals were surrendered to equine rescue organizations by their owners, while others came under rescuers’ care when law enforcement authorities discovered their circumstances. Either way, rescue organizations have struggled to care for the increasing number of horses in their possession.

Although equine welfare will always be an issue, some individuals charged with rescue horses’ care have ideas about how to keep at-risk animals safe and how to prevent them from becoming at risk in the first place. Here’s what is on their minds:

More Rescue Oversight

Minnesota veterinarian Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, president of the Minnesota Horse Council (MHC), would like to see more veterinarians become involved with local rescue activities to ensure that rescues are using public donations to provide appropriate care for the animals in their charge.

"Under The Minnesota Horse Council Certified Rescue Program rescues must show us proof of 501(C)3 status ," Turner said. "This opens up the rescue to charitable donations and to veterinarians who inspect and certify that the rescue meets or exceeds American Association of Equine Practitioners’ care guidelines for rescues and retirement facilities."

Photo: SPCA for Monterey County

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