The 1-Day Open Door Shelter in Oklahoma was a huge success! It’s the second one we have held in Oklahoma and it is growing and helping so many horses in need.
The goal of the 1-Day Shelter is to provide a safe place for horse owners to surrender their horse they can no longer keep. In Oklahoma the slaughter pipeline is legal and very active, and if owners take horses to auctions, the majority of them will ship to slaughter. We do everything we can to stop that horrible end for horses! At the 1-Day Shelter we also offer end of life services for horse owners who own horses that need euthanasia but cannot afford it. We operate in accordance with the AAEP guidelines, and no euthanasia is taken lightly. The AAEP accepts that humane euthanasia of unwanted horses or those deemed unfit for adoption is an acceptable procedure – AAEP page 38
At this 1-Day Shelter we offered free transportation for owners who did not have a trailer or other means to get their horse to the shelter. We also accepted horses early if their owner was unable to make it on the day of the shelter. This horse was transported to the OK shelter early.
She was in such sad condition. Her owner did not have the financial means to give her the Last Act of Kindness and was so grateful for our help.
Sunday morning, the day of the 1-Day Shelter, started with horses arriving.
Trailer after trailer pulled into the fairgrounds with horses. Their owners could no longer keep them and without our shelter, they likely would have no other option than take them to auction where they would have been shipped to slaughter.
Since 2008, we have been offering the Last Act of Kindness end of life services to horse owners who cannot afford the high cost of euthanasia when their horse’s health begins to fail. So many times we have seen horse owners who want to do the right thing, but cannot afford the $500 or more many vets charge for euthanasia and disposal. They do not want their beloved companion to go to slaughter, but they cannot find help, all while the horse’s health continues to get worse.
Many older horses get to a point where their organs start shutting down and they just can’t stay up to weight anymore. When an older horse’s health starts failing, it is time to give them the Last Act of Kindness, but sadly for many owners, they cannot afford it, and the horse is the one who suffers.
Without the 1-Day Shelter, these horses would have continued suffering or their desperate owners would have taken them to auction in hopes that someone could help them. Horses like these, despite being skinny, are purchased by kill buyers. In Mexico skinny horses are still slaughtered for their hides and bones and what little meat they can get off of them.
About 40 people came through the 1-Day Shelter on Sunday, which was the surrender and adoption day. We took some of the adoptable horses from our OK shelter to the 1-Day Shelter. Many people came to see the horses needing homes.
8 horses and mules now have homes lined up because of this event. We are very pleased and excited about this new adoption aspect of the 1-Day Shelter. The adopters are now having their applications processed and will be able to take their new horses home once they have been approved.
At the end of the busy day, Shari and Larry helped get the 12 horses all settled for the night.
The next morning the vet came to evaluate each horse for quality of life and adoptability with our staff. Micha, a 5 year old Quarterhorse, was given a clean bill of health by the vet and placed in the adoption program. Micha will be available after further evaluation of training.
Lefty, a 7 year old Paint, was also given a clean bill of health and will be available for adoption soon.
Shiner is a 10 year old stallion. He was evaluated and found to be healthy too.
Being a stallion, he needed to be gelded before he could be placed in the adoption program. Thankfully the vet was able to do it right then and there. Larry held his head and told him everything was going to be ok.
Once he was sedated it was found he had some dental issues that needed to be taken care of too.
Before long his dental work was done and he was given more sedation. He laid down and before long was a gelding.
Shiner woke up, no doubt feeling a little strange. Everyone told him that the surgery was successful and he was going to be adopted into a great home someday soon.
Then came the time when we had to say “Goodbye” to the horses suffering who needed euthanasia. We are thankful that we were able to provide this Last Act of Kindness to these elderly horses who’s owners wanted to do the right thing but didn’t have the funds to go to a vet directly.
If you are interested in having us host a 1-Day Shelter in your area, please contact us for more information.
Thank you all for your support of our shelters!