In January I responded to a query from a reader who asked, when rehoming horses, what are the available humane alternatives to auctions and slaughter. I said that there is a growing nationwide horse rescue community that The HSUS is working to support and foster, both directly and through the Homes for Horses Coalition, which we helped to found. We continue to provide financial support to model horse rescues as well, with our most recent grant going to the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, Ky.
And we are undertaking several other initiatives to improve the welfare and lives of equines in America.
We have just gone to press with an exciting new book, "The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Horse Care." The Guide will be available in early spring, and will be the cornerstone of our "Horses: Companions for Life" educational program, which will also provide informative articles, website stories, brochures, and classes on equine care and the responsibilities of horse ownership.
At our 2008 Animal Care Expo this May in Orlando, Fla. we will offer two equine welfare workshops for members of the animal care and sheltering community, including a presentation on the work of the Homes for Horses Coalition. Expo is a great conference and if you’ve never attended, you should think about doing so.
And planning has now begun for an HSUS Equine Cruelty Investigation training course for animal control and law enforcement officers. Too often a lack of familiarity with equine care and cruelty issues hinders these public servants from becoming effectively involved in the disposition of such cases. We want to help turn that tide by providing the crucial expertise needed for successful investigation of equine cruelty cases.
I’m happy to report that our equine protection efforts are being met with much enthusiasm and support by HSUS members and constituents. Among the biggest of our program supporters is Mari Hulman George, chairman of the board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the second time, Mari has donated special VIP packages to attend some of the most prestigious races the Speedway will hold in 2008—the Indianapolis 500, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and the Inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP. These packages are being auctioned on eBay through this Friday, March 14, and the proceeds directly aid our efforts to help at-risk horses. If you’re a racing fan, a horse lover, or an HSUS supporter, take a look at these VIP packages—previous winners have raved about the experience.
I’ll continue to keep you updated on our growing Equine Protection programs and new opportunities for you to help us help America’s horses.