Equine Rescue

Hay ‘Bale Out’ for Habitat for Horses

Story by Sally MacDonald of Fox News 24 Houston

Habitat for Horses Receives ASPCA Grant

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HOUSTON – There’s help for horses this week and a bit of relief for their owners during the record setting drought.

They’re getting a hay “bale out” from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA announced today that a total of $250,000 is being granted to 24 equine welfare organizations and animal control agencies across Texas and Oklahoma.

One of the groups benefiting is Habitat for Horses in Galveston County.

All of the 120 horses on the ranch have at one time or another been neglected and starved until Habitat for Horses rescued them.

“This is what we do, what we’ve been doing for the past 14 years, bringing horses in and making them healthy,” said Jerry Finch, the group’s founder.

Finch’s list of needs has never been longer. At the top is the most basic one of all, hay.

“Everybody’s out,” said Finch.

Widespread wildfires and drought have created the perfect storm to deplete the hay supply. The 30 acre ranch in Galveston County used to be a sea of green. Now the horses have only a few remaining blades of grass.

“No grass is stressful for them. They have nothing to do,” said Vicky Crisp.

The ranch is spending everything it has on hay, the price of which as nearly tripled.

“A round bale like this used to be $50. Right now it’s about $120 or $125,” said Finch.

This week Finch learned he’ll be getting a hay “bale out” from the ASPCA. He’ll use the money to buy hay for his horses and others in the area. Finch says more and more owners are dumping horses because they can’t afford to take care of them.

“One of the things we want to do is try to establish a program to help horse owners keep their horses in the home,” said Finch.

He fears the grant money won’t last long and come winter his ranch will be in a desperate situation unless more donations come in.

If you’d like to get involved visit habitatforhorses.org

21 replies »

  1. Thank you ASPCA….HSUS, where you at on this?

    You know, I really hate to say this, but where in the Hades is USDA on this? This export thing is getting stupid. I am all for free enterprise, but when so much hay is being exported along with severe weather something has got to be done. It is projected that in the West, hay will top $300/ton by December….and we have hay out the ying-yang. Why $300? Because of exports and US demand.


    • Denise, I beginning to question free enterprise, especially in the Global Marketplace. China is one of the largest purchasers of alfalfa grown in the U.S. Their government props up their currency rather than allowing it to float, as the dollar and the majority of other currencies do. We don’t put any meaningful trade restrictions on China, because they hold so much of our National Debt. It isn’t fair, but there’s no requirement that individuals, local businesses, national or multi-national corporations (aka: persons!), or nations to be fair, or operate on a level playing field. And there’s no way to require any person or entity to be moral or ethical. Personally, I’d like to see the U.S. take some steps back, and take care of our own people before we satisfy the “needs” of others. Okay, that’s moving toward Socialism, but we have so many socialistic programs already in place to help our people, I’m not opposed to a few more!


      • What I don’t understand is why some accommodations for consumers of forage and hay products can’t be instituted in view of this looming crisis.

        I mean, most of the producers here use public services, resources and roads to get that hay to export (subsidized with certain tax credits/breaks). Why can’t the USDA require a portion of that export product be retained for states and consumers hard it? Afterall, they are called the USDA, not the China, Saudi Department of Agriculture. Why can’t USDA set up haybanks?….they have the demand data, auction and sales, etc. Isn’t that what they are here for?


    • HSUS runs the largest equine sanctuary in the country, with 600 equines, Duchess Animal sanctuary with 200 equines, and they run the Doris Day Horse Rescue & Adoption Center. They also have a “Hay for Horses Fund,” and run programs promoting horse adoption.

      In addition, they underwrote part of the International Equine Welfare conference put on by EWA.

      And they are the ONLY organization registered to lobby on behalf of the horses in Congress.

      That enough for ya?


      • Nope…it is enough for me and more importantly for North American Equines.

        But I am sure you will enlighten me. Additionally, the post you made below leaves alot OUT.

        I also know, agencies, charities and even the private sector have turf wars and “not invented here” syndrome.

        Also, last I checked, there are some very large land owners that have taken mustangs/burros through other nonprofits. Are you talking herd size or sanctuary acreage?…nonprofits, private individuals, etc?


  2. Here’s another article on the USDA by Marti Oakley. Read, evaluate and decide what you think. I have a lot of questions. It seems that the only thing we DO know, is that WE pay for them:

    October 22, 2010 by ppjg by: Marti Oakley
    Vilsack announces new budget for 2011 for USDA…..and a new plan of assault on America’s farmers and herders:Part 1


  3. I hope Laura you get my 50.00 dollars. I sent it Paypal. 25 for legal and 25 for you. If you get a chance let me know when and if you get it.



  4. I asked the same question that you all are asking about why the DOA would be exporting hay from the US to foreign countries when there is so much need here this summer. I was told that once the contract is signed between the US and a foreign country, it has to be honored.


  5. Maybe this explains the lax attitude of the lawmakers in Washington toward the horrors of transport of equids to sales and finallly to slaughter. (Send the hay to China, thus appeasing the polititians, and turn blinders on inhumane transport and border crossings to facilitate equid removal when people can’t afford hay.)

    Congratulations to those receiving the grants for hay for the horses from the ASPCA.


  6. We were extremely disappointed in ASPCA in Massachusetts yesterday. They testified at a hearing that included several animal welfare bills, including one to ban horse slaughter in the state, and they said absolutely NOTHING about the bill, not even that they supported it 😦

    At least HSUS was there and stated their support for the bill, in fact, they helped to draft it.


    • “At least HSUS was there…”, but before that, you said ASPCA “testified”. Doesn’t that mean they WERE there?

      What did they testify to, if not all the animal welfare bills? Qualify please.

      P.S. Who the Hades is “WE”?


  7. Regarding the export of hay to China. Why is hay being exported? They can’t grow their own? I wonder about the consequences to our horses, cattle and all other hay eating animals supported by Americans who are now at risk due to the extraordinary expense of hay. Since when does a bale of straw become more expensive than many people earn in an hour? It is time these commercial growers come to grips with their complicity in the REAL outcome of their choicce to send the hay overseas. I commented to one feed dealer that maybe they should have planted more hay instead of selling it all to overseas buyers in China and then overcharging US citizens on their usual needs. This is madness. Please loudly protest. It is not only your pocketbook biut the hay eating animals who will be suffering and dying.


    • To your first question, they export because it brings in more money. Why do countries import US hay? Because they don’t have the infrastructure to produce their own and the export/import price is cheaper than setting up the infrastructure; also some countries don’t have the quality of land or resources to produce their own hay.


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