One never knows when paths cross if it's for a reason, if by chance, or perhaps destiny. When I received a letter via e-mail from Horse Rescue United, which stated their mission, their commitment to saving as many horses as they can – it touched my heart and I wanted to know more, so I contacted them and had many questions. ..
Tell me about Horse Rescue United. What is your mission?
Spokesperson and Vice President Diane Tuorto explained, "Horse Rescue United, Inc. (HRU) saves horses from abandonment, abuse, neglect, and slaughter. We specialize in retraining and rehoming Standardbred horses. Whenever possible, HRU purchases slaughter-bound horses from auction and finds them homes, and also helps owner-surrenders find placement before they end up in the wrong hands. "
How did HRU get started? How did it all begin?
"I got involved by becoming aware of slaughter of American horses on Facebook," Anouk, the founder says. "In March 2010, there were two old Standardbred geldings from the Amish at auction. So I stepped in and asked if friends could help fund them. We got the money and another rescue stepped in to home them for me after I had purchased them. That's what jumpstarted me into starting a real rescue. "
Are you breed specific? Standardbreds only?
"We specialize in Standardbreds but save horses of all breeds," says Diana Tuorto. "We've assisted Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, and also Belgians."
What's involved in rescuing a horse? How do you go about saving the animal?
"We deal a lot with owner-surrenders. Some are ex-racehorses who just need new homes and second careers," Tuorto says. "Others might be starving or neglected and need our assistance. Our goal is to get them out of danger and rehabbed and retrained if needed. If we go to an auction to rescue a horse, we concentrate on the ones who are in danger of selling cheap to kill buyers. We saved four horses at New Holland auction for just over $ 500 in early 2011. "
What is the horse's general condition under rescue circumstances?
"It varies. We've saved many neglected, skinny horses, both surrendered by owners and from auction, but many of the owner-surrenders who are ex-racehorses come to us in perfect condition. Many are surrendered by trainers and owners who want their horses protected for life by our contract and don't want them to end up in the wrong hands. Other horses have scars from abuse or neglect. It really varies. "
Tell me about some of the horses. What are they like? What's their story?
"Tristan was saved from shipping to slaughter from the New Holland auction on January 3, 2011. He was found with cancer in his right eye and brought to New Bolton clinic. Sadly, Tristan's cancer has already spread to his bones. To keep him more comfortable, his cancerous eye was removed in October 2011. While there's no way of knowing how long Tristan has left, we hope he'll be able to live happy and comfortably for some time to come. "
"Jessica was likely a former Amish buggy horse who was saved from slaughter via New Holland auction. We were able to save her for just $ 75. She was thin and terrified of people. She has come a long way in two years and still needs a home.
"Trolley is a Quarter Horse mare who was found at auction with a horrendous hole in her head. It's believed she either ran into a pole or someone stabbed her. Two surgeries later, the injury is healing and she is happy and healthy in an adoptive home with one of our volunteers. Since 2010, we've assisted over 50 horses. "
If you could appeal to the reader personally, right now, in this article, what would you say?
Tuorto did not even hesitate. She knows the answer; they live it every day at HRU. "I would tell them that adopting a horse saves two lives; the horse they take home and the horse we can save in their place. I would ask them, please … help us save the horses."