“Help a horse, lend a hand.”
That’s the ultimate objective, and there’ll be considerable more for anyone interested in horses.
Most importantly, it’ll be an afternoon of information for those who know nothing, little or have a definite desire to learn more about horses. Specifically those horses that don’t have a home, their owners want to get rid of them, and the ones that are hungry, have been or are being mistreated in any way.
“The B&C Equine Rescue, Inc., at Carbondale has planned a Horse Rescue Open House in celebration of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Help A Horse Day on Saturday afternoon, April 26, from noon to 4 o’clock in the afternoon,” announced Brenda Grimmett, who with her husband, Cecil, are hosting the program at their horse rescue unit, appropriately named after their first names.
“Spotlights of this afternoon program will include educational information on horse rescue, horse rehabilitation and therapy programs as well on how to properly care for a horse’s needs,” explained Grimmett, who has operated the 501C3 not-for-profit facility since 2007.
“There will be discussion about the role of the community, law enforcement officials and rescue units such as ours have in saving horses from abusive and neglectful situations,” continued Grimmett.
“Most importantly, those attending the Help A Horse Day will learn how they can lend a hand to the continuing problem for horses and the industry every day in the future,” Grimmett clarified.
To enhance attendance, there is completely free admission, with refreshments and raffles for a number of quality prizes for horse lovers and owners.
“However, donations to our cause are always appreciated,” Grimmett stated emphatically.
Idea to host her own informational activity came when Grimmett was researching details about the ASPCA Help A Horse Day.
She explained, “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), founded in 1866 in New York City, was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. The mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is ‘to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.’
“While there are humane societies all over the country, the ASPCA is not directly affiliated with them. However, the ASPCA works nationally to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with many shelters across the country.
“We believe that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law,” Grimmett added.
Actually, a significant incentive for Grimmett to host the educational horse activity this Saturday came from the ASPCA. “They have offered a major grant for having a Help A Horse Day open house, and our rescue could sure use every bit of assistance we can get,” Grimmett emphasized.
But, it’s far from a one person effort, the coordinator pointed out. “I first talked to Marty Bloomquist of the Dancing Star Ranch at Tecumseh, and she encouraged me to move forward. Everything has come together with support from so many people,” Grimmett credited.
So far, the program is to feature Ed McCarty Equine Dentistry; Shelley Buchanan Equine Therapy; Brenda Moulder Young Living Essential Oils and Chris Byler of Flying B Therapy, discussing the use of a TheraPlate.
Defining, Grimmett said, “The TheraPlate, is a commercial patented device to provide treatment and prevention of injuries and chronic conditions such as navicular. It uses motion and energy to increase circulation, enhance performance and decrease recovery time for injuries. One would sure be as asset to a facility such are ours.”
Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn is also going to be featured on the program discussing her department’s involvement in rescuing and finding homes for starving, abused and unwanted horses.
“Many businesses and individuals have been very generous in offering items to be given in the fundraising raffles,” Grimmett said.
With 23 horses housed now at the 14-acre B&C Equine Rescue, Grimmett said that is capacity, but emergency situations can alter that in specific situations.
“There are some sanctuary horses that are here for the rest of their lives, but we do adopt horses out to owners who meet our stringent criteria,” she said.
Horses come from many locales, including those who contact Grimmett to take the horses when they no longer have a means to care for them. “While there are instances when we have purchased horses, we definitely do not want to buy horses,” she stressed.
Some of the horses have been those which have been starved or abused and confiscated by law enforcement.
“We have generally been able to get the owners to surrender the horses to us, rather than having them seized by law enforcement officials,” explained Grimmett, who has been involved in horse rescues for nearly seven years.
Surrendered horses are signed over and become the property and responsibility of the rescuers.
“However, if the horses are seized, it can become a long drawn out legal procedure, and the county becomes responsible for care of the horses,” said Grimmett, who has received imbursement for care of horses seized in Osage County.
“It’s not as simple as getting a starving horse and giving him feed. These horses often require veterinary treatment and parasite control. Putting food or even water in front of a horse that has been without for an extended time can be deadly itself,” Grimmett contended.
Volunteers and donations are essential to the unit. “We are fortunate to have people who will donate feed on a regular basis, and there are individuals who offer to assist with chores and overall care of the horses and facilities. More people have been generous in cash donations since we’ve become non-profit,” Grimmett credited.
“We appreciate all of the assistance we can get, but the burden of care is still our responsibility,” Grimmett contended.
“Because we are called ‘horse rescues,’ some people think we are government supported, but that’s far from the way it is,” she reiterated.
As if all this aren’t enough burdens, government taxation rules even can add considerably to financial stress, but the not-for-profit 501C3 status qualification last year has reduced the added dilemma predicament.
“Rehabilitation of malnourished, injured or abused often requires considerable time, let alone money, and this does not even take into consideration young and even quite mature horses that have never been handled,” Grimmett commented.
“Then, we try to adopt the horses to suitable new homes. We want to make sure the horses are adopted by someone who has the knowledge, desire and financial capabilities of caring for the horse,” Grimmett explained.
One of the most controversial issues today is legalization of horse slaughter. There is an animate opposition.
“Horse slaughter is not an alternative to the overpopulation and mistreatment of horses. I’ve seen how horses bought for slaughter are mishandled, how they are abused during transportation and have seen examples of the inhumane treatment at slaughter houses.
“Horses are not like cattle. They are not considered food for human consumption in this country. They should not be slaughtered,” Grimmett said.
“Education is the only possible solution,” Grimmett reiterated.
“Buying a horse is the cheapest part of ownership. When somebody sees a horse for just a few hundred dollars, they buy it because they ‘always wanted a horse.’ That’s when their expenses and problems really begin. There needs to be a place to keep the horse, feed and water, and he can be dangerous if not handled properly,” Grimmett said.
B&C Equine Rescue is located at 740 West 125th Street, Carbondale. Information on the Help A Horse Day, April 26, is available from Grimmett at 785-633-3318, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our intention is to educate more people about horses and their care. Everybody is welcome to come,” Grimmett invited.