Milo Foundation has always helped equines, those that have turned up in Northern California shelters, including three mules having been dumped in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Manteca, in 2011, a pair of Arabs, a gelding who was… not. And not only was Poco a four-year old stallion but one with only one descended testicle, that took us on a long (and costly) ride, two neuter surgeries… from January ’04 till finally adopted in 2017!
We’ve rescued horses and mules and our fine pair of donkeys over many years, but this year, 2018 we helped a group of 20 horses escape being shipped across the border to Mexico – to slaughter. The efforts started with a philanthropic woman, a donor and dog adopter who loves horses, a Facebook connection and with the rescue funding… an original thought of rescuing two, then a group of seven horses, grew to twenty. What an undertaking!
We knew this was a costly venture, and sadly, just a drop in the bucket. An eye-opening learning experience and one we want to shed light on for our Milo people, and supporters. More of the animal caring public and horse lovers, may not realize the plight of the American horse. Unwanted horses die. And they more often than not die a gruesome death.
The auction to kill – lot, to slaughter, pipeline is HUGE in our country. Disposed of horses, loved horses, taken to auction are often purchased by “Kill-buyers” to be offered up for “Bail money” with a posted “Ship date” to sell to the public before being shipped off by these kill-buyers if they are not purchased at their inflated prices for profit. It is a racket. But then again – this is a money making, potentially evil end which is not totally at fault. Also at fault is the fact that there are TOO MANY American horses – not just the awful problem with wild horses – also a great concern, but that people keep “Brood mares” breeding and pumping out babies…too many, way too many, and this too is about profit.
Animal Shelters are full, well, what about the excess pet horses? Ranch horses, older or injured horses discarded. There are no shelters. When little Susie is a teenager or off to College and tired of her sweet pony, and mom and dad want to travel – or save the boarding fees…. Off the pony/horse goes to an auction lot --- with the naïve hope or presumption that another loving family with a youngster just starting with horses will adopt! This is just one of many wrongful pipe-dreams for discarded equines.
As well on the flip side is the cowboy and ranch industry. Like the working dog, ranch owners and workers, the rural communities that discard their dogs, don’t spay and neuter etc. same goes for the four-legged work vehicle – the ranch horse, the failing rodeo or show horse…. Where do they go? More often than not, nowhere good.
The kill lots offer publicity, and work on the sentimentality and emotions of the horse loving, caring public. It’s a profit born industry, a necessary evil of sorts – to change this?? It’s a big battle.
1) Turn the tide of breeding.
2) Increase knowledge and marketing of horses in need of homes – prior to auction. Increase a re-homing rescue network, vet checks and all for the honest re-homing horses.
3) Legislate to not allow Kill-buyers into auctions until the public and rescues are allowed to purchase as many horses as possible. Not having to bid against profiteers who will send the un-purchased horses to slaughter.
There are many ways to look at this and much to learn and advocate for change. Milo Horse Rescue is new to much of this and we are not necessarily a political vehicle for change – but we can start the educational project and encourage people to try harder to re-home their horses and not opt for the auction lots. Support rescues and develop a re-homing pipeline…. Stop the breeding. Join Milo in this path to change. Thank you for your support.
We can't do it without the help of our dedicated team of volunteers and fosters. If you are an experienced horse person and interested in becoming part of the team, please let us know!!