Monday, June 4, 2007

Rescue needs New Farm

Our apologies for the absence of Traveller's Rest News. We're back and will once again begin providing regular updates.

First though, an appeal on behalf of our sister organization, and mentor, the Equine Rescue League of Leesburg, VA

The Equine Rescue League needs your help.

Please contact the Equine Rescue League office at 703-771-1240 if you can help them continue to help horses like those mentioned below. We can't afford not to.

Equine Rescue League, in Leesburg, Virginia is one of the oldest equine welfare groups in this part of the country, founded in 1990. ERL's founder, Pat Rogers, prior to opening this particular facility was the Farm Manager of the American Horse Protection Association's farm in Lucketts, VA before AHPA closed the farm and became more of a lobbying group. Pat had experience at this before most of the rest of us even heard of "horse rescue." She also attended auctions with Gail Eisnetz (author of Slaughterhouse) back in the 80's so was (and is) very committed to this mission.

ERL, in its first year of operation, took in a herd of 32 neglected Morgans from a case prosecuted in a nearby county. The owner received the harshest punishment ever given for a cruelty case at that time. The community rallied at that time, providing funds, supplies, and volunteer labor. If not for that support, caring for 32 starving (and many pregnant) horses would have been next to impossible.

In later cases, one involving 19 Appaloosas arriving at one time, one involving several starved foals only a few months old, and one case that inspired all who visited........The Gold One........the community again came together and helped ERL provide intensive care. At other times, arrivals were not as dramatic, one horse here, two there, but ERL was always there, plugging away feeding, watering, treating injuries and, sadly, offering peaceful ends to those for whom help came too late.

Goldie "before"

Goldie "After"

ERL set the stage for most of Virginia's other equine rescue operations. They've allowed many of us to adapt their contracts, for example, for our own use rather than making us reinvent the wheel. They've done more than most people realize to raise awareness of equine humane issues.

Now, Their occupation of Churchland Farm, which has always been a temporary arrangement, is coming to an end. Loudoun County, one of the fastest growing in the nation, must reclaim the property for landfill expansion. ERL has until September 22, 2007 to find a new home. In an area of such rapid development, land prices have skyrocketed over the last 5 years. The current market is not one easily entered by a charitable organization whose primary mission.....caring for neglected horses.......puts every donated dollar to immediate use. Saving the amount of money needed to purchase suitable acreage has been difficult.

Its time to rally the community again.

ERL and its residents need your help. The organization is asking for your assistance in procuring a property, raising funds, and soliciting donations or grants.

Please help them continue their work in Virginia. Losing this groundbreaking organization that led the way in the area would be a tragic occurrence. With no ERL, there would have been no Flower, no Bob, no Churchill, Goldie, or countless others.

The Real Heroes

Although the Equine Rescue League depends on volunteers and private donations to help horses in need of our services and to maintain its farm shelter, the real heroes of our stories are the horses themselves.

Regardless of past mistreatments or abuses, these horses continue to trust, and even like, people. Each one seems to believe that the next stage in its life will be better than the last; that the next caregiver will treat him with kindness and respect.

It is always inspiring to see how quickly a horse can recover from total neglect once appropriate care is administered. The convalescent period is tackled with a "gusto" not seen in most human patients.

These pages are dedicated to those victims who would not resign themselves to an unpleasant fate.

How can we give up when they do not?

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