I recently read an interesting article on what it costs horse rescues to rehabilitate a horse that has been malnourished or even starved. It was a tremendous sum and a tremendous amount of work.
According to the article, the cost of the special feeding for a malnourished horse is $1200 to get the animal back to a normal diet. Generally the process takes about 4 months. The horses get multiple feedings of small amounts of food per day until they are able to digest larger amounts. That’s also very labor-intensive which is hard for the staff of the rescues, many of which depend on volunteer labor.
Most rescues also see that the horses get their feet and teeth properly cared for if needed and see that the animals are wormed and vaccinated. That’s for protection of other horses at the facility as well as for the welfare of the rescued animal.
So you can see that, during a rescue operation, such as the one involving the Black Forest horses, the amount of money needing can be large—thousands of dollars. For the Sheriff’s Department, it comes out of their budget. For a rescue organization, they usually depend on donations for their existence. Such a large outlay at one time may be beyond the group’s needs.
In the past few years, the price of animal feed has at least tripled, putting many animal rescue groups in severe straits, especially small ones. With the economy plummeting, people were giving up their animals at record rates. That’s true of dogs and cats too. Humane societies are inundated with unwanted pets.
Ask any rescue of any kind of animal, including puppy mill rescues, and they’ll tell you that finding money to keep their group going is one of their main concerns. Even places that take in exotic animals such as lions and tigers have difficulty funding their efforts.
Rescues aren’t in business to make money and they certainly don’t get rich. The ones I am familiar with do it for the love of the animals they are trying to help and, without exception, they need all the help the public can give them. Even if it’s putting a dollar or so in the donation jar where you buy the food for your pets, it will help.
It’s the season of giving—let’s make it one for our animal friends, too. They are truly helpless unless good people help them. They can’t speak up when they are hungry or thirsty or cold. They are at the mercy of their owners and caretakers. It’s a measure of our goodness to be good to those who can’t give anything back but their silent gratitude.