July 10, 2008

Future Brighter for Rescued Horses

By Katy Moeller, The Idaho Statesman, Boise

Jul. 10--Idaho Humane Society officials said Wednesday that a dozen emaciated horses and a donkey that were seized in early June have been fattened up to healthier weights -- and four are ready for adoption.

Three Canyon County horses that came into the Idaho Humane Society's care before the large June influx have been adopted.

"I found two wonderful homes for three horses," said Pat Vance, director of operations at the Idaho Humane Society.

Four of the horses seized in June are ready to be adopted from the Humane Society's Rescue Ranch, Vance said.

The Idaho Humane Society has been getting daily calls this spring and summer from Idahoans who are struggling to feed their horses. Hay prices have doubled in the past year, pinching family budgets already hit by rising fuel and food costs.

Vance told the Idaho Statesman in June that she planned to try to set up local networks of support across the state to help struggling families who want to keep their horses.

The Idaho Humane Society received more than 100 phone calls and e-mails from residents across Idaho and Eastern Oregon who wanted to donate their time, expertise, hay or money. Several are helping Vance set things up.

"We're trying to organize that now," she said. "We want to have a network set up so people know who to contact and where they can go."

One of the horses the Idaho Humane Society seized in late May or early June was 350 to 400 pounds underweight.

There was some uncertainty if the 24-year-old bay thoroughbred would survive -- but she did.

"She's gained 150 pounds," said Vance, who noted that the mare was allowed to be in the same pasture as her best friend, a 24-year-old black quarterhorse that also was malnourished.

The mare and the gelding had been staring at each other across fences, and the gelding had rubbed his neck raw.

Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society, said that likely will help the mare's recovery.

"They respond to their environment much more than other animals," Rosenthal said. "They're such a social animal."

Katy Moeller: 377-6413


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