Living and Breathing
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Horse rescuers say more owners are unable to afford their animals, overloading the rescuers.
Rescuers have tales you almost wouldn't believe. People leaving their horse "temporarily" with a Good Samaritan, only to never return. Or someone taking a horse-trailer to an auction, only to end up with one or two horses that weren't purchased somehow end up mysteriously in the trailer when no one is watching. No one is sure when it will get any better.
A sweet 14-year old quarterhorse gelding named "Adonis" returned Sunday to Mary Pencak, the woman who rescued him 11 years ago, because his owner couldn't afford to keep him any longer.
"I'm going to be looking for a home for him," says Pencak. "But I don't hold a lot of hope I'll find one because the economy is so bad."
Kim Furse is looking to sell her 6-year old quarterhorse "Reba" to a good home. She's dropped her asking price from 500 dollars to 300.
"If I don't sell him this way, then I may be forced to take her to an auction," says Furse. "Which i don't want to do."
A good trail-riding horse like Adonis might have fetched 3500 - 5000 dollars about a year ago, but Pencak says now she might only fetch 500 to 1000, if it's able to sell at all.
The monthly expense to feed a quarterhorse can be about 200 dollars a month, double that for a thoroughbred--an expensive hobby on a tight budget.
Pencak says she used to count on taking less than a year to find a happy home for a horse like Adonis. But now she says, "the two horses I've just taken in, I don't have any names of people that I can call to take them."
Several other rescues I called are in similar positions. If you are looking to get rid of your horse to an adoption agency, do your homework. Not all are reputable.
For help, you can contact Alachua County Animal Services at:
Or, check out the Horse Protection Association of Florida at:
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