It's no secret that Georgia is experiencing one of the coldest winters in recent history. Although humans may enjoy cuddling up on the sofa with a full belly and a hot cup of chocolate or tea in front of a fire, there is no such comfort for the many animals in Georgia whose caretakers are unable to afford feed, hay, vet care or shelter.
Not only are horses suffering, but horse owners who are struggling to afford their beloved animals face the heartbreaking decision of selling or giving them away. This is only one of the reasons for the increasing number of unwanted horses flooding a horse market which has been in steady decline for the last decade.
More and more people who had to part with their horse under these conditions are discovering that their horse, given up for adoption or sold under duress, had eventually been sent to slaughter, despite a binding contract to return the horse to its original owner should he be sold. This is the dark and ugly side of the horse business.
Horses of dubious quality are being bred and flooding the market, unable to be sold, leaving a large population of unwanted animals. The horse racing and horse breeding industries send thousands of young, healthy horses to slaughter as a method of culling. Although there are several reputable horse rescues in Georgia who take in unwanted horses, there will never be enough land or funds to accommodate the number of horses who need to be saved. That is exactly why Stamp Out Starvation of Horses, Inc. was founded.
Stamp Out Starvation of Horses assists individuals and other horse rescues in Georgia with funds to feed and vet unwanted horses. The need for assistance in this economy is great, and S.O.S.'s work is based solely on charitable contributions. Since donations are down, S.O.S. has been unable to meet the increasing demands of the horse community.
Here are just a couple recent success stories from S.O.S.:
Twyla had owned a feed store that went out of business due to the down economy. In an effort to support both herself and her two beloved horses, who have been family members for over 14 years, she sold nearly everything she owned. Fortunately, a friend contacted S.O.S. for assistance. S.O.S. has been calling in credits to a local feed store so that Twyla could pick up feed and hay as needed to feed her two beautiful mares. Fortunately, Twyla will be starting a new job on February 2nd, and will no longer need our assistance. She sent S.O.S. a photo of her two fat and happy horses, along with the following message:
I am the proud owner of the 2 mares you see here [see photo]!! . I honestly can't find words to express my gratitude to Stamp Out Starvation-a wonderful organization, one I never imagined I would need. Being an independent kind of person, it was difficult for me to ask for help. S.O.S. was fantastic help for me and my 2 girls....Can't imagine what could have happened to us without Doris and SOS of Horses. Even now they are still helping us until my new job starts in Feb.
One of S.O.S.'s long-term care cases is a woman in her 70's, in poor health and living in an old house trailer without central heat or air, and caring for her adult son, who has cancer. She and her son have a 30 year old gelding named Star, whom they love like a member of their own family. S.O.S. has been feeding and vetting Star for over 3 years. Very recently, S.O.S. received a phone call that Star was choking, as he had three years ago when S.O.S. saved him by dislodging the obstacle in his esophagus. This time, a vet was dispatched on an emergency call at S.O.S.'s expense, since choking can be life threatening. The vet examined Star and concluded that he had a cold which he treated with medications, which S.O.S. provided.
Stamp Out Starvation of Horses is a unique organization among horse rescues, in that they provide a holistic approach to improving the quality of life for at risk horses in Georgia. In addition to assisting with financial support of horses by assisting owners, they often assist in re-homing horses that cannot stay in their current home. S.O.S. maintains two very small sanctuaries where unadoptable horses are provided a lifetime home. In cases of horses that are seized from their owner due to cruelty, they are kept until rehabilitated and ready for a new, lifetime home. When horses in need of rehoming are encountered, S.O.S. assists in marketing and screening adopters.
There are many horse rescues in Georgia, but S.O.S. was the original founder of a broad spectrum approach to solving the unwanted horse crisis, one horse at a time.
For more information about the horse industry or horse slaughter, or to help Stamp Out Starvation of Horses improve the lives of more Georgia horses and their owners, please visit the web site at http://www.sosofhorses.com.