The RSPCA has launched a fresh appeal to horse lovers to help horses as new figures showed the charity rescued 55% more equines from cruelty and neglect last year.
As England and Wales’ largest animal welfare charity, the RSPCA has seen an enormous increase in the number of horses coming into its care - with almost three a day being rescued.
The charity is currently looking after more than 850 horses, donkeys and ponies and has launched Stables Sponsorship, asking horse lovers to help the RSPCA care for rescued equines until they are ready for rehoming.
“For several years now we, as a charity, have been picking up the pieces of the equine crisis, with our inspectors being called out to sick, injured, neglected or cruelly treated horses every single day,” says Cathy Hyde, who leads a team of specially trained equine inspectors at the RSPCA. “And, despite our best efforts the crisis is not getting any better. Last year we took in 979 horses which was a 55% increase on the year before*.
“For many of the horses, being rescued is just the beginning of a long road to recovery, and it can take many months for us to rehabilitate them to a point where they can be rehomed. The time and work during those months is absolutely essential but extremely costly, and we now find ourselves with over 850 horses in our care, so we desperately need the public’s help.
“Those who rehome a horse from us are doing something very special but for those who aren’t in a position to do so, this new scheme provides a unique opportunity to make a huge difference too.”
From foals suffering neglect to older horses cruelly treated or abandoned, the RSPCA has seen an enormous increase in the number of horses taken in.
The impact of the recession, over breeding, the high costs of vet bills and falling prices for horses have all contributed to the crisis, which has also seen a distressing number of horses dumped dead and dying like rubbish.
The poor state of the horses coming into RSPCA care means that the cost and length of their rehabilitation is increasing and as a charity, the welfare organisation is urgently calling for the support of horse lovers through the new Stables Sponsorship launch.
Last year, the national call centre received over 30,000 calls about horses and already this year alone more than 500 equines have come into the RSPCA’s equine centres.
These include four-year-old horse Prince who came into the care of RSPCA Lockwood Centre for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys last winter, after he was found abandoned, suffering with a horrific leg injury that was so severe, it exposed parts of his tendon. Prince was understandably very unsure of people but the grooms at Lockwood worked tirelessly to rehabilitate Prince and treat his severe injury and help him to trust people again. Thankfully, Prince is now healed and is ready to find a new home.
You can help horses like Prince by giving just £10 sponsorship per month which will help provide our equine centres with everything from shavings and straw for the horse’s bedding to feed and hay, grooming brushes, rugs and of course veterinary treatment for those who are rescued from the most appalling conditions by RSPCA inspectors.
You will receive quarterly news and updates about some of the horses who have been taken into RSPCA care and looked after in the stables along with letters from the staff at the RSPCA equine centres with updates on the horses they have helped.
To sign up to sponsor our stables, please call 0300 123 0346 or visit www.rspca.org.uk/stables