June 5, 2008

Two of the rescued horses who now have a brighter future thanks to Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue.

A horse welfare group has swooped on an Ohio auction, spending $US70,000 to buy up all 163 horses on offer at the sale.

The auction was reportedly tense as kill buyers missed out time and time again as the horses went under the hammer.

Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue feared most of the horses faced a similar grim future: a gruelling trip to a slaughter in Canada or Mexico, then on to fill overseas dinner plates.

But Pure Thoughts co-founder Jennifer Swanson and sponsor Victoria McCullough were determined to give every one of those horses a second chance.

"I have bought wonderful things for myself during my life," said McCullough, "but providing funds for the rescue of these horses is truly the best purchase I've ever made.

"If every one of us can open a stall door to a horse in need, there wouldn't be horses at auction facing a painful death. No horse should have an end like that."

The horses are in Ohio until their health papers come through. They will then be shipped to Pure Thoughts in Florida where they will be evaluated, rehabilitated and rehomed.

"These horses are our number one priority. The group is full of lovely serviceable horses including many gorgeous paints, beautiful thoroughbreds, draft horses and adorable ponies," said McCullough, who is also championing a programme to facilitate adoptions from Pure Thoughts to intercollegiate college riding programmes.

She is also spearheading a plan to create a unified global collaboration to help stop the slaughter of horses with help from World Horse Welfare, formerly the International League for the Protection of Horses.

"It is time for the voice of the people to be heard and put an end to horse slaughter," said Swanson.

"For years others have tried to suppress anti-horse slaughter legislation HR 503 and S311; incorrectly believing horse slaughter is over is a myth.

"Horses are now being transported inhumanely to Mexico and Canada, where the cruelty is beyond comprehension. We have laws in our country regarding humane treatment of animals. Why are we not adhering to them for the horses?"

"This world is far from perfect," said McCullough, "but we can all make a difference."

As well as the $US70,000 to buy the horses, it will cost more than $US32,000 for shipping.

"This experience has taught me to appreciate my own horses and how lucky they are," said McCullough. "I had no idea how unbelievably cruel the other side is."

"People are calling everyday to help and I am overwhelmed by the generosity," she said. "Mr Isaac Arrguetty has graciously let us use his Mida Farm in Wellington, Florida, for about 40 of the incoming horses. Because of his kindness, these horses will have a wonderful reversal of fortune."