Running to the Rescue
Animal suffering is not something the passionate Sandhills equestrian community will tolerate.
This was made clear recently after a slew of starving horses were sighted on a property in Richmond County.
Allie Conrad — who runs CANTER, a nonprofit horse rescue organization in Moore County — was the first to bring the public’s attention to the horses when on June 27 she posted a picture on the Sandhills Area Equestrians Facebook page of an emaciated mare tied to a stake in a dirt enclosure.
Conrad estimated she saw more than 25 horses standing in fenced-in dirt lots, many of them tied to stakes in the yard. There was little grass and no adequate shelter.
A public outcry on Facebook ensued after Conrad posted the photo. People immediately took action, calling animal welfare organizations like PETA and the U.S. Equine Rescue League to try to help the horses transition to better homes.
Vee Sutherland, of Southern Pines, created an unofficial coalition of local equestrians and animal lovers called People in the Sandhills Care for Animals (PSCA) and led many of the mobilization efforts among the community.
No doubt, the community did what it could. A situation like this emphasizes why we need to support all local efforts to help unwanted and victimized horses, namely nonprofit ventures like CANTER and Healing Hearts Equine Rescue.
Healing Hearts is headed by president Libby Schmittdiel and vice president Mary Rice, and is fueled by countless generous volunteers.
Unfortunately, in a time of tight wallets, the rescue’s revenue — which relies on donations, fundraisers and grants — is running short.
Maggie, one of HHER's recent new arrivals, had to have surgery in a front leg shortly after coming to the farm, racking up significant vet bills. Added expenses like these make it difficult for HHER to reach out to all the stricken horses that come their way.
Some of HHER’s main fundraisers are tack sales, held several times a year. Used tack and equine supplies of all kinds donated by area horse people are available.
The next one is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. until noon at NC Self Storage in Carthage. All profits go toward supporting the rescue.
For any local equestrian in need of a saddle or bridle or just on the lookout for something that could be useful in the barn, this tack sale is an ideal opportunity. And the money couldn’t be going to a better cause.
If you can, please come out to NC Self Storage next Saturday and see what Healing Hearts has to offer.
The outreach by Sandhills equestrians to help the Richmond County horses, animals they didn’t even personally know, was incredible. Making a purchase or two at the tack sale is one other way we can offer a little aid.
Helping the horses we love and care for and supporting horse rescues should be a priority.
Contact Sarah Brown at email@example.com.
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