Saturday night in Turlock, CA we had a rescue team at the Cowtown Horse Auction. There were about 45 horses and we had raised almost $5,000 to save between 10 and 15 horses. We hadn’t met our fundraising goal, but we were going to rescue as many horses from the slaughter pipeline as we could. We were hoping the auction prices would be very low so we could save an extra horse or two, but as you know, the purchase price is always the cheapest part of rescuing. Normal rehab and finding homes is extremely costly, and we always have to budget for that. Often there are unexpected medical expenses and other costs above and beyond what we budget for, but we always know we can count on your support to help the horses!
The rescue team started looking around at the horses before the sale and sending pictures back to Tawnee who was working the phones over 150 miles away.
Soon the auction started. Being at an auction is always so stressful, watching the horses go through, figuring out if killer buyers are bidding on them, and doing what she can to at least keep the price above meat price. Tawnee says your heart races, you can literally feel it pounding in your chest, your knuckles become white, and it’s just rough.
The rescue team at the auction were doing a great job and Tawnee thought trying to bid over the phone was almost as stressful as being there. This mare and baby were one of the ones that we were able to save.
It is stressful for the horses too, there is a lot of noise, lights and commotion. They stand outside in the darkness and then come into a bright noisy room. They have got to be confused!
One by one the horses came into the auction ring and were sold off to the highest bidder. The rescue team was doing their best to keep the prices above killer price, hoping that the big trailers outside waiting to roll out of the state on the slaughter pipeline would leave empty that night.
It was the first time we have had the pleasure of having the auction live on Facebook while it happened. It was very exciting for all of our fans as we were able to post the great news “We just saved another one!” over and over.
Soon we had over 15 horses and there were more horses that we wanted to save. We asked our Facebook fans to donate to help save more lives and soon we had a total of 19 horses saved thanks to you!
After the auction the rescue team sorted the horses out in the pouring rain to make sure each one had water and would be safe for the night. We can’t thank them enough for their hard volunteer work. What an amazing team!
Sunday morning early the rescue rigs were hooked up and ready to go pick up all the rescued horses.
Our two biggest trailers were on the road, in the rain, with other transporters lined up if needed. A lot of the rescued horses were babies and young horses, and we can haul a lot more of them compared to full sized horses because of their size.
After a long drive, and the rain had turned to sunshine, the rescue rigs arrived and our staff were able to look into the sweet eyes of the horses that had been rescued.
To be continued…