I'm delighted my last column engendered such deep emotions in so many people and I'd like to thank them for talking the time to write in. If every one of those people gave $40 to a local rescue, they could be instrumental in helping stop slaughter in America.
If there were room and financial support for rescues, there wouldn't be horses starving. Yes, Virginia, there are horses starving to death in this country. I, too, did not think such a horror existed in today's America. But I also didn't think adult illiteracy was such a widespread problem; I've met four totally illiterate adults since I moved to Kern County 13 years ago.
I didn't create the slaughter disaster; Congress did. But I can try to fix it now. So I have stepped up and started my own non-profit Equine Rescue: TheSpitCreekProject. Our Mission statement is "Saving Young Horses From Slaughter and Teenagers from Themselves One Pair at A Time"
We accepted our first horse this week before we even have our website up. She's a feral gaited mare. We also accepted a donated Welsh Pony that had been bred by an Amish family in Northern California. They lost their farm due to the recession and had to get rid of a whole herd of working Welsh Cobs.
The Spit Creek Project is pairing young untrained horses that are vulnerable to slaughter, like the two I took in this week, with talented teenage equestrians who have the talent to show but not the finances. Along with learning how to start baby horses and train them, turning them into finished show horses, they will be learning how to campaign and train a horse safely on the local and A rated circuit.
More trainers and horse professionals like vets, grooms and farriers need to get involved with equine rescue groups if we are ever realistically to see the end of the need for slaughter. I am defiantly anti-suffering not pro-slaughter. There is a huge difference. I hate the necessity of slaughter but right now when I see horses starving to death after being turned out in the Mojave Desert I question how humane the current situation is.
Please contact me with your ideas and plans to deal with this equine disaster. I welcome all suggestions and creative criticism, because it isn't about winning an argument to me. It's about helping horses and the families that own them. If you know of a starving or neglected equine, contact your local animal control. If they do nothing, call me: 661-972-5001.
KELLY MOLLOY-MCDANIEL is a Tehachapi-based trainer. Please email any questions to email@example.com; follow her on Twitter @SpitCreekRanch #SpitCreekelly.