I'm hoping you'll forward the below message to email lists, message boards, Facebook, friends, family, etc. who might be able to help. This is the most sincere, from the heart plea for help I could write. I'm scared for so many horses out there across Texas and I worry about our ability to help them.
I've been involved in rescue since 1998. I have faced many challenges: halter breaking and taming wild horses, learning to run an organization, overcoming a nearly crippling fear of public speaking to speak out about rescue horses, testifying at seizure cases, etc. I have held horses' heads in my lap and cried over them when it was time to let them go. I've cried tears as some of my favorite horses have left for new homes, and I've smiled and laughed and felt overwhelming joy when I hear wonderful success stories about our horses and their adopters. I've met some wonderful people. I've faced horrible burnout and overcome it to help more horses.
I am not alone in this – there are many people in BEHS who have walked similar paths and help many horses. There are people across the country and around the world helping horses. I'm so grateful so be part of that brotherhood (sisterhood? Personhood?) of humans helping horses. And I want to extend a huge, giant, ginormous thank you to the foster homes, adopters, members and donors who make BEHS possible.
But 2011 is the most challenging year I've faced. The economy has affected so many of our members – people have had to return their beloved horses, they've had to stop fostering and some have been forced to let their membership lapse. Donations are down, adoptions are down and we rarely have anyone new sign up to foster. The drought has made grass non-existent and hay is nearly impossible to find.
But the need for help continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We're receiving more neglect reports than usual, we're turning away people who want to donate horses they cannot afford to keep, and we're unable to help starving, abused and abandoned horses when sheriff's departments call. We won't agree to take in horses from cases when we don't have the homes or funds to care for them. And this means we're turning many, many horses away. More than I've ever had to turn away before.
So I am begging from help. If you are looking to add a horse to your herd, please consider adoption. Our fees are very low (and July is adopt one, get one free month). Many of our horses disprove the myth that rescue horses can't be successful. If you have extra room and can foster, please sign up (BEHS pays for pre-approved vet care, pre-approved medications, $10 of each farrier visit and paste de-wormers. Other expenses may be tax-deductible). Join the rescue – you don't have to volunteer, live in Texas, or even be a horse person to join BEHS. Your membership says you support BEHS and the horses in the rescue. Or make a donation to help care for the horses in the rescue.
I have never been this worried about the future of the horses in Texas or so scared about our ability to help them. Please help me and help Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society continue to help needy horses.
Thank you for your time reading this,
Jennifer Williams, Ph.D.
President & Executive Director, Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society
Learn how to start and run your own rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com
If you need approval for routine vet work (vaccinations, teeth floating, castration, etc.) please contact Jennifer Williams firstname.lastname@example.org or Denise Crosthwait email@example.com.
Emergency contacts - Please attempt to contact Jenn first. If you cannot reach her, then try Denise or Paula. If you try all three but cannot reach any of them, leave messages for them and then call your veterinarian.
Jennifer Williams - 254 881 2180 or 832 425 8129 (emergencies only)
Denise Crosthwait - 979-272-7404, 979 777 0768 or 979-846-5700 Option 2 (emergencies only)
Paula Weisskopf - 713-705-5343