The Issue: Abused and Neglected Horses
Ruby is a 5-year-old Shetland Sorrel pony that was given as a present to a 12-year-old girl. When the girl lost interest in riding her, Ruby was left alone in the backyard, cared for by owners who lacked the necessary knowledge to keep her healthy. And Ruby is not alone. More than 100,000 unwanted horses are born in the U.S. per year, according to a 2010 report from the Journal of Animal Science. However, Ruby found care and a best friend, Gypsy, at Laughing Pony Rescue, one of the 326 registered horse-rescue and sanctuary organizations that help roughly 13,400 horses per year.
The Campaign: Feeding and Caring for Rescued Horses
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Laughing Pony Rescue to provide food and veterinary care for rescued horses. For every $250 raised, Laughing Pony Rescue can provide one month of hay, vitamins, grains, dental checkups, and basic-skills training for one horse in hopes of one day putting it up for adoption. The sanctuary allows horses to stay for as long as they need to rehabilitate and become comfortable with humans again before finding a permanent home.
Laughing Pony Rescue
As with many equestrians, Celia Sciacca’s affection for horses can be traced back to her childhood. When she was just 10, she received her first horse, Hot Foot Honey, who she would ride bareback through the streets of New York. In a way, more than 300 horses now owe their health and happiness to this steed, because Hot Foot Honey sparked in Celia an abiding passion for the animals that lasts to this day. Working closely with the United Pegasus Foundation, Celia takes in sick, abused, and abandoned horses of any breed, and rehabilitates them through her organization, Laughing Pony Rescue.
As president, Celia oversees an all-volunteer staff that tends to as many as 20 horses at a time, giving them nutritious food and clean water, daily vitamins, and plenty of room to run, roll on their backs, and nap in the sun. Horses at Laughing Pony Rescue also find something that the herd animals can lack: the companionship of other horses and positive social interaction with people. For example, Laughing Pony Rescue offers therapeutic riding sessions for adults and children with disabilities. After training and veterinary care have given the horses back their strength, Laughing Pony Rescue puts the animals up for adoption and sees that they live out their lives at a loving home.