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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

VIDEO~ Horse Owners Facing Terrifying Reality

Fox News Article:Horse Owners Facing Terrifying Reality

Q13 FOX News
April 21, 2009
His nickname is 7, and lucky is exactly what he is - so is Sarah.
"Sarah's a horse we actually pulled off the truck," says Monica Stephens of Natural Horse Savvy in Snohomish. She and Kalisa Jenne-Fraser are grateful for that.

"People don't understand the risk when they send their horses to auction. They don't understand the reality when they get on the truck. There's still a market for horse meat unfortunately," says Jenne-Fraser.

Every year, tens of thousands of horses are sold at auction, then driven to Canada or Mexico, where they're violently slaughtered.

" The U.S. is one of the few countries that doesn't eat (horse) meat, but I don't think it's our responsibility to feed other countries with our pets," says Jenne-Fraser.

But it is happening, especially during these tough economic times.

"We're talking about having to decide between feeding your family or feeding your beloved equine companion. No one should have to face this," says LynnD Stiles of the Phoenix Rising Horse Sanctuary.

She and Stephens say they'd buy every horse at auction if they could

"How do you go there and see these horses with so much potential and I don't have the space to bring 100 horses home," says Stephens.

But the reality is, practically every horse rescue is full right now. There's no room and owners are being forced to make a painful decision, one way or another.

Katie Merwick of the Second Chance Ranch in Elma says, "People are letting their horses starve in a field because they don't want it to go to slaughter. They just watch it starve. "

But Merwick says that solution isn't much better.

"If the choice is slaughter or euthanasia, they should be put down humanely. "

The problem with euthanasia, the final $600 tab is too expensive for those who are already struggling. So now a group in Northern California is setting up free euthanasia centers. Stiles hopes to see something like that pop up here.

"Good for them. They've listened. It's a kind solution, bless their hearts. "

"I always think it's a noble gift you give your horse, when you can give them a humane good-bye." says Jenne-Fraser.

But as long as these horse-rescue owners can help it, they'll continue to welcome these animals onto their ranches and into their hearts.

"They're fabulous just wonderful animals. I look out and think you wouldn't be here," says Stiles.

Horse rescue owners say one of the ways you can keep these horses off of the slaughter trucks, is by fostering or adopting one of these animals. Many of these horses are former racers, competitors, and thoroughbreds.


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