RESCUE IS HARD
* Disclaimer – This post is not directed towards anyone specific, it’s been years in the making. If you have reached out to us in the past, are currently in talks with us, or if you need to connect in the future, please feel comfortable to do so! We will continue to do the best that we can, and will work to connect you with others if needed.
It’s been a hard week. Truthfully, it’s been a hard few weeks. Whether it’s cases of animal abuse or neglect, treatable disease that was left ignored, or seeing cases of preventable suffering, it’s hard. One of the toughest parts of my job is having to decide who can come and unfortunately, who we can’t accept. I hate that part. In the last week, we have been asked approx. eight times to take unwanted mustangs, totaling roughly 30 head. It breaks our heart, the numbers in need are simply more than we can provide for.
As beautiful as this sanctuary is, our current layout isn’t the best match for every mustang. We need to consider our carrying capacity, longterm care costs and our ability to provide year-round feed.
We’re new to this land and have minimal infrastructure to work with.
We would love to take more medical cases, but we don’t have a barn or stalls yet.
We would love to provide a resting place for sick & weak, but we don’t have a round pen or chute.
We would love to empty another BLM pen, but we need to build fences first.
We would love to take the lame, but it’s not ethical, nor is it responsible to release a mustang with a known injury, or one that carries a risk of a flare-up onto several thousand acres. We’d never able to catch them if they needed care!
It breaks our heart to not to be able to accept every animal in need, but the reality is that this isn’t the best space for everyone, and the volume is higher than we can responsibly care for.
Another tough part, one that is rarely discussed, is dealing with disposable horses/animals. We are routinely contacted about mustangs that need new homes, a story that is familiar to rescue groups everywhere, regardless of their animal focus. Genuinely good people with the best of intentions can experience misfortune, we understand that! But those exceptions aside, the stories are often similar and frequently boil down to owners being unable/unwilling to put in the time. They want a riding horse or pet, and they want it with as minimal work as possible. Other stories include not being able to feed them. Didn’t realize how much they cost. Just don’t want them anymore. Can’t keep them. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough space. Can’t gentle them. I didn’t know how much work they’d be. Got him as a colt/puppy, can’t handle him now, but won’t take his manhood. It was a gift for my kid, they lost interest. We split up, neither of us wants it. The list goes on! We do our best to help those that we can, as we’re able, and to try to connect owners with other groups that may be able to help, but it makes our work difficult (the entire rescue community) when we place an animal ‘in need’, only to see that the previous owner promptly replaced it with another. By giving a sanctuary space to an animal that was misrepresented, we risk the lives of those whos owners TRULY are unable to care for them. Please help us by being transparent, so we can help the most urgent cases first.
On that note:
Friends, we have a two-part plea.
1) Before taking responsibility for ANY ANIMAL, please research what you are getting into. Whether you’re looking at a horse, a dog, bird etc., different breeds have different requirements, personalities, temperaments, health concerns and exercise needs to consider. There are countless rescue groups and humane societies around the world who are in desperate need of foster care. Please try this option first if you’re unsure about your ability to provide a permanent home. Better yet, foster longterm! You could help animals in need without a permanent commitment if your life were to change. If you’d like to adopt or purchase (adopt please!), please do so only after thoroughly researching and considering longterm care costs for feed, Veterinary care, housing, exercise, climate change, time concerns, future moves, loss of employment, changes in the family, landlords, etc. Taking responsibility for an animal should not be taken lightly!
2) STOP THE BREEDING. Please! There are literally thousands, MILLIONS of unwanted animals living in cramped shelters and livestock yards in desperate need of a home. Everybody loves babies! But as those babies age, regardless of animal type, our enthrallment for them tends to goes down. For most, the cuteness disappears and what was once viewed as adorable play is now seen as destructive behavior. More exercise and attention is required. Costs go up and animals go into heat. They can be messy, annoying, underexercised and hyperstimulated, all actions that can lead to dangerous ‘free to a good home’ ads or being dropped off at a shelter. As proactive animal lovers, let’s all make a choice to stop our contribution to the cycle of overpopulation and deal with the numbers that already exist. Sterilizing your animals is one of the most responsible and proactive things that you can do!
Seriously, it’s hip to snip! Enough of those babies. Let’s help animals who are already in need.
Thank you for listening.
Exhausted rescuers everywhere