Emergency fund to help out horse rescue charities

Three rescued horses, Maggie, Rosie and Jim at World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm. © World Horse Welfare

A Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund has been established in Britain to help smaller equine welfare organisations across the UK who are being significantly impacted by the current crisis.

The joint venture between Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT), World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) was created at the end of last month with £50,000 from PPCT. A further £80,000 has also been raised from the RSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Redwings, World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Society (BHS).

All equine welfare organisations have experienced unprecedented financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis. On top of looking after the animals in their care with very limited rehoming possible, they have had to close their centres to visitors, cancel fundraising events and see donations dry up during the ongoing crisis. This can be especially devastating for smaller charities.

The maximum grant will be £5000 with the expectation that the average grant will be about £2500. Grants will be decided by a committee comprising representatives from NEWC, the supporting charities and an independent member, with PPCT administering the fund.

Applicants need not be NEWC members, but rescue and rehoming of equines should be the primary focus of the organisation. If more applications are received than funds available, priority will be given to NEWC members and those smaller organisations that have not received emergency funding from other emergency funds (e.g. Support Adoption for Pets Emergency Fund).

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said the economic fallout from the pandemic, will make a bad situation worse. “There is no capacity within the UK’s equine rescue system so it is vital, as we start to rehome animals again, that we have as many organisations as possible working to support the inevitable tidal wave of welfare cases that will need help over the course of this year.

“We are hugely grateful to our sister charities, including the RSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Redwings and the BHS for supporting the Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund and to the PPCT for agreeing to administer this vital safety net to smaller, but no less important, equine welfare organisations during this extraordinary time.”

PPCT Chair David Simpson said the Petplan Charitable Trust had always supported the tremendous work that horse rescues perform. “We are delighted to work alongside others to help in these difficult times.”

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