Duncan’s Humanity for Horses Rescue is looking for help to keep its doors open.
The non-profit society, begun in 2015 by Rebecca Sanesh, buys horses bound for slaughter from auctions and tries to find caring foster homes for them.
Sanesh said the costs of running the operation, which currently has 44 horses at various locations, including its 40-acre farm in Duncan, are approximately $100,000 per year.
She said veterinary expenses alone amounted to $13,000 last year, hay for the horses cost about $30,000 and then there’s rent to pay on the property plus the costs of purchasing the horses at auctions all over B.C. and Alberta and transporting them back to the Cowichan Valley.
Sanesh, who works full time also does contract work on the side to help pay for the horse-rescue operation, said even with donations to the non-profit society, it’s increasingly difficult to keep up with the expenses of the expanding organization.
She has started a GoFundMe campaign, called Feed The Rescue Horses 2019 which can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-rescue-horses-2019, with the goal of raising $23,715 to help pay for the costs of hay, of which just more than $3,000 was raised as of July 26.
“Many people who bring their horses to auction think it will be going to another home, but they have no idea that is not necessarily the case,” Sanesh said.
“A lot of the horses end up in slaughterhouses for use as food. I was really surprised when I found out in 2015 that horses are often slaughtered in Canada and that’s when I began Humanity for Horses Rescue.”
Sanesh was raised around horses so her passion for them started at an early age, and she completed a two-year equine sports therapy program after high school.
She and volunteers at Humanity for Horses Rescue have rescued more than 380 horses since the non-profit began.
“A lot of them are discarded race and chuck-wagon horses that would’ve gone to meat of we didn’t buy them,” Sanesh said.
“We try our best to find them foster homes, but we keep any of them that are compromised health-wise or are very senior.”
Financial troubles are not new to Humanity for Horses Rescue, and the organization was close to closing last year.
But when word of their plight got out through the media, enough donations were made to keep it in operation, and countless offers of volunteers, sponsorships, hay and other support poured in.
“Our GoFundMe campaign has not been as successful as last year’s yet, but we’re hoping it will pick up,” Sanesh said.
“We’re also always looking for more volunteers at the farm and foster homes for our horses.”
Gibby’s Cafe will he hosting a fundraiser for Humanity for Horses at their location at 2011 University Way on Sept. 19, beginning at 6 p.m.
Sign up for the fundraiser at www.yaymaker.com/events/_10114094 or call Terri at 250-732-5278.