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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Owner Assistance Program Rescues Horses from Neglect

Helping financially struggling but committed horse owners, three independent nonprofit equine rescue sanctuaries operated a pilot assistance program in the Pacific Northwest last winter. Sanctuary capacity in the three-county area on the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, across the Puget Sound from Seattle, was at or beyond maximum levels. The program had a 100 percent success rate in keeping horses in safe homes and is ready to be expanded nationwide.

Project Safety Net for Horses can potentially save thousands of horses from neglect, abandonment, premature euthanasia or the brutality of equine slaughter for a minimal investment per animal, according to the project developed and implemented by Allen Warren of the Horse Harbor Foundation (HHF), and two horse rescuers, Sara Penhallogen and Janean Doezal.

“We were fortunate to receive a grant to test the concept of in-place rescue and are extremely happy with the results,” says Warren. “There is absolutely no question that thousands of dedicated horse owners are struggling to keep their horses properly in the current economy and need a little help to do so.”

Warren recently approached the National Equine Resource Network (NERN) with the idea of establishing a Project Safety Net fund to receive donations from private individuals, other equine welfare organizations, and breed registries, which would be distributed to equine rescue operators across the country willing to launch similar programs. It is currently under review by NERN.

For additional information, contact Shirley Puga, Executive Director, NERN, at 760-419-2462 or email [email protected].