International equine charity Brooke USA has opened an emergency fund to help horses caught up in California’s wildfires.
Recent low humidity, dry conditions and warm fast-moving winds have created ideal conditions for blazes to spread across California.
“Tens of thousands of acres are burning and images are emerging of horses being evacuated, roaming free or fleeing approaching fires. The situation is devastating,” said Emily Dulin, executive director of Brooke USA.
Stories of courageous rescue volunteers and makeshift shelters are unfolding throughout ravaged California communities – all focused on helping abandoned and displaced equines. The rescue efforts are complicated. Often, animals caught in fires flee or hide, especially when injured. Hundreds of horses and other animals have been displaced, and it is estimated that at least 10,000 more are affected. Public shelters are taking in as many animals as they can.
But as horses are being reunited with owners or relocated to new homes, feed, medical supplies and veterinary care are necessary to help manage the situation.
“Every time there’s an emergency affecting horses, the equestrian community rallies together,” Dulin said.
“It’s complicated and challenging, but I am always impressed with how this community jumps in and helps. These generous people move heaven and earth to make sure horses are safe.”
Funds raised by the California Equine Emergency Fund will be donated to organizations directly helping relief and recovery efforts.
USEF Emergency Disaster Relief Fund
All donations received by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Emergency Disaster Relief Fund will go to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, U.C. Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team and the Humane Society of Ventura County.
Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund helps ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $1,000,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners. In 2018, the fund raised approximately $650,000 to help in the relief efforts through Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, along with wildfires across the country.
Encouraging donations to help the horses affected by the California wildfires, US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said: “As part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of all horses, the USEF Disaster Relief Fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as these crippling wildfires.
“US Equestrian wants to continue to support the generosity of the equestrian community and those who have stepped up to offer assistance to their fellow horsemen and -women in a time of need. Donations to this fund allow us to continue to provide financial assistance to these groups and others involved in ongoing rescue efforts now and in the future.”