Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS), one of the nation’s leading sanctuaries for farm animals, has rescued twelve starving horses from Saratoga, New York, and is calling the need for public support of credible animal non-profits “urgent.”
The newest horses are the latest additions to a CAS population that includes animals from pigs and cows to rabbits and turkeys. They are anemic, as much as 400 pounds underweight, and suffering from a skin fungus known as “rain rot” that results from prolonged lack of shelter during wet weather. The owner, Ann Arnold, was arrested this morning by New York State Police and charged with 19 counts of cruelty.
While CAS has happily taken on the challenge of bringing these animals back to physical and emotional health, it is concerned about how horses and other farm animals will fare as the economy continues to lag and rural America deals with flooding, drought, hurricanes, and other weather challenges brought on by global warming.
“We’ve never seen a need like this,” says Kathy Stevens, director of the Saugerties-based haven. “When people have to choose between heating their houses and feeding their animals, most are going to keep the heat on. Our waiting list is growing every single day.” Other sanctuaries, she says, are experiencing the same phenomenon.
The addition of these horses alone increases the sanctuary’s equine population to 40 and its budget by $60,000. The Sanctuary is seeking financial support, foster homes, and additional property in order to expand its capacity.
Stevens urges animal lovers in a position to give to do so generously, whether to CAS or to other “credible” animal non-profits. “There is tremendous suffering right now…animals being abandoned, turned loose, and locked in barns to languish. They need us more than ever, and sanctuaries can only help as many as they have staff, pasture, barns, and funds with which to care for them.”
The general public can meet the new horses by joining Stevens at a special tour that begins promptly at noon on Sunday, October 30. Advanced sign-up is required at casanctuary.org.