The Dumb Friends League is making a plea for donations of hay to feed rehabilitating horses at its Harmony Equine Center near Franktown.
CEO Robert Rhode said more and more abused, neglected and starving horses in Colorado are being impounded by law enforcement authorities and transferred to the Harmony Equine Center for rehabilitation and eventual adoption.
"We need caring animal lovers ... to help ensure that these horses have enough hay to regain their health and receive the second chances they deserve," Rhode said.
The price of hay continues to run high in Colorado. Although Colorado's healthy snowpack portends good things for hay production, the drought in California is causing ranchers there to look to nearby places such as the Centennial State for their hay supply, industry experts say.
At the same time, other factors have come into play, such as serious flooding in Colorado last Fall that prevented some ranchers from cutting as much hay as normal.
"Hay prices have been high for two years and we expected them to go down but that hasn't happened," said Dumb Friends League spokesperson Megan Rees. "And as more people have learned about Harmony Equine Center we've been taking in more horses."
Rhode said a $120 donation will buy one bale of hay, which will feed one horse for 30 days. A $350 donation will buy one ton of hay and feed three horses for 30 days.
He cited the example of a horse named Praline
"Praline was one of the most shockingly skinny horses we’ve seen at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center when she arrived last October after being seized in a neglect case in Kit Carson County," Rhode said. "Praline had the lowest possible body condition score of 1—indicating extreme emaciation and possibly near death.
"Fortunately, we had enough hay to provide Praline with the nutrition she needed to slowly recover, which took nearly five months. But with as many as 100 malnourished horses in our care at any given time, and up to 250 in a year—we may be facing a shortage of hay," he added.
"Please donate today to help us feed and save vulnerable horses like Praline."
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