The Lucky Ones

Horses saved from slaughter - rehabilitated and ready for new homes at Lilly Pond Foal Rescue in Dunkirk!!

Whether you follow me here, on my blog, or on FaceBook, you know that I am a member of HeARTs Speak, and that I photograph adoptable horses for Lilly Pond Foal Rescue in an attempt to help find them forever homes.

Well, the influx of horses sometimes proves a bit difficult to keep up with.  First, the sheer numbers that are surrendered or otherwise end up at livestock auctions is staggering.  There are just SOOOO many – and its impossible to save them all.  But rescue groups like LPFR do the best they can by bailing out the ones they can help with rehabilitation and training, before the kill buyers get them and ship them off to slaughter.

That’s right – I said “slaughter”. The old fashioned cutesy way of referring to this was simply saying that horses are sent off to “The Glue Factory” – but the ugly truth behind that term is that horses are slaughtered for their hides and meat, just like cattle.  Except that we don’t do that here in the US, so these unwanted horses are shipped on crowded trucks to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico.  Its a very long, extremely stressful journey, that ends in the horrific demise of tens of thousands of horses each year.  All so that their hides can be manufactured into things like purses and furniture, and their meat can be processed for human consumption in other countries around the globe.  One Google or YouTube search will produce countless links to articles, photos and videos about this very subject.  Be forewarned tho – the videos are EXTREMELY graphic and disturbing – I can guarantee they’ll shake you to your core, and will more than likely change your life.  I know it changed mine.

ANYWAY, this is a post about some of the Lucky Ones, who were saved from that fate, and will hopefully end up as well loved companion horses in someone’s life.

In recent months, Lilly Pond Foal Rescue has taken on quite a few homeless horses – some arrived and were adopted so fast that I never got to photograph them, but there are many still available.  One of the volunteers was kind enough to spend several hours with me last weekend, escorting me around to all the barns so that I could take their portraits and start networking them on FaceBook.  See, space is at a premium right now – we need to find homes for these current rescues before spring, because that’s when the nurse mare foals will start arriving…

But nurse mare foals is another story for another day.  So without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to some of the Lucky Ones.  Each has their own story – some of their stories are known, some are are mysteries, but regardless, each of these horses have overcome their past and are capable of a bright future, if they can find someone willing to share their future with them.

Please feel free to share this post and these photos with your friends – not only will the exposure help to find homes for the available horses, but every little bit of awareness we can bring to the plight of neglected, abused and abandoned horses is a step in the right direction.

Also, if you’re thinking of adding an equine companion to your family, please consider rescue – and helping out at your local equine rescue is a good way to get a feel for what these horses are all about.  As the saying goes, “If you can’t adopt, foster.  If you can’t foster, volunteer.  If you can’t volunteer, donate.”  Whatever you can contribute, no matter how much or how little, will be a very rewarding experience, and will go a long way to giving rescued equines a new lease on life!

For more information on any of the horses pictured above, please visit Lilly Pond Foal Rescue’s website or their FaceBook page.  You may also contact Sharon by email or by phone at 240-299-0021.  (Dunkirk, MD)

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