Equine Rescue

Young Crusader Declan Gregg Advocates for America’s Horses within the pages of National Geographic

story by Jordan Carlton Schaul of University of Alaska
forward by R.T. Fitch of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Folks, you won’t be cheated out of your ‘Feel Good Sunday’, today, as we focus on our resident, junior, equine advocate Declan Gregg who has now carried his quest for the safety and well being of American Equines all the way to the pages of National Geographic.  Below we have included some of the text from the interview with Declan but we highly encourage you to visit the link to the National Geographic story where you can read the feature in it’s entirety and comment directly at Nat Geo.  We are proud to have such a fine, young advocate standing amongst us.   Declan, you GIVE us hope and empower us to strengthen our faith in the future.  Be safe.” ~ R.T.

“I was the first ever recipient of the ASPCA’s Junior Equine Angel Award…”

Dr. Jordan Schaul interviews another young crusader. To date, Jordan has introduced our audiences to young wildlife crusaders determined to help Taiji’s dolphins and South Africa’s rhinos. Here at home, another young crusader with a compelling story is making a difference for our most majestic of companion animals—horses.

Declan Gregg ~ photo courtesy of Children 4 Horses

Declan Gregg ~ photo courtesy of Children 4 Horses

Bio (Submitted by mom, Stacie) Animals are an important part of eleven-year-old Declan Gregg’s life.  He loves them all, but has a special place in his heart for horses.  “They are amazing, beautiful, animals, who are not only our companions and friends, but also our healers,” says Declan.  “I feel a special connection and bond with them that keeps my soul alive.”

In 2011, after hearing about the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter, then nine-year-old Declan, decided that he needed to raise his voice.  Declan created Children 4 Horses and started his own blog (www.children4horses.blogspot.com), and page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/children4horses), to spread the word as an advocate for horses.  Declan worked closely and diligently with the Million Horse March campaign.  He held a “Letter Writing Party” at his local shelter, the New Hampshire SPCA, to collect letters from children hoping to inspire lawmakers to end the slaughter of American horses.  Declan collected over 225 letters that day from local New Hampshire children.

Jordan: Please tell us about your lobbying efforts on behalf of humane horse care?

Declan: My dedication to horse advocacy took me to the nation’s capital twice in 2012, where I represented over 1,000 children from the United States and abroad. I presented letters and drawings to legislators in Congress and the Senate. I held a press conference alongside Congressman Jim Moran (VA) and representatives from other national horse advocacy organizations, where I spoke out against the slaughter of America’s horses, both domestic and wild. During that visit, I personally visited several legislators in the House and Senate, including Congressman Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, where I shared my opposition to the inhumane treatment of horses and subsequently garnered the Congressman’s co-sponsorship of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R.2966/S.1176).

I also met with HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) President, Wayne Pacelle, to discuss ways I could continue my advocacy work with the organization.

Declan speaking in D.C. March 2012 with Congressman Jim Moran  ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Declan speaking in D.C. March 2012 with Congressman Jim Moran ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

In 2012, I joined forces with the “Horses on the Hill” campaign, returning to Washington DC, and spoke before celebrities, Congressmen and Senators to lobby against horse slaughter and advocate for the protection of horses under H.R.2966/S.1176.  In addition to my two Washington visits that year, I testified at a hearing for a bill opposing horse slaughter at the New Hampshire State House in January, 2012.

n 2013, I travelled to Washington DC for a third time, to attend the “Horses on the Hill” event and met with Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire as well as other legislators, and spoke about current legislation which protects horses from inhumane treatment.  I subsequently garnered the co-sponsorship of Congresswoman Shea-Porter of the SAFE Act (H.R.1094/S.541).

My efforts are not only focused at the federal level, but also back home in New Hampshire.  I have been on several radio shows and created videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/sgsquared1), to lend my voice on behalf of horses and raise awareness for horse advocacy issues.

Declan in D.C. with Author/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation R.T. Fitch (R.T.'s favorite photo) ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Declan in D.C. with Author/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation R.T. Fitch (R.T.’s favorite photo) ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I have spoken to children’s groups like 4-H Clubs, Girl Scouts and after school programs at the NH SPCA, and will be making a presentation at my school, about horses, their humane care and horse advocacy issues.  I love sharing my passion with other kids and educating them.  I want to show them that their voice is important too and that they can stand up for animals just like adults do.  I ran successful fundraising campaigns for both local and national charities that help horses, and far surpassed my goals with the help of people from all over the country.

I ran successful fundraising campaigns for both local and national charities that help horses, and far surpassed my goals with the help of people from all over the country.  Every year, my younger brother and I give the animals a Christmas present, by sponsoring them through the New Hampshire SPCA’s “Adoption Angel” program.  I am currently petitioning the Governor and NH State legislators in the House and Senate (http://tinyurl.com/m7luymd), in opposition of the state’s “Ag-gag” bill (HB110) and will be meeting Governor Hassan prior to the bill going to the floor.

Jordan: How do you feel about the attention you’ve drawn personally?

Declan: I am honored to have been awarded the 2012 ASPCA’s Humane Kid of the Year for his advocacy of horses and was excited to take my family to New York City with me to accept the award and deliver a speech to a packed room of over 500 people….(CONTINUED)

Please Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment directly at Nat Geo

19 replies »

  1. Declan…you are an inspiration! A force to be reckoned with that will only get bigger & stronger with each passing day. You are wonderful in all that you do & have already done in saving horses world wide…Bless you!

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  2. We are all so proud of Declan and his devotion to our nation’s horses. He is truly an inspiration not only for other children but people everywhere. He sets an example for us all to follow with his tireless efforts, his big heart and contagious smile.

    Our nation’s humanity has diminished when it comes to animals…not only domestic but wild as well. Declan is leading the charge to help us regain some compassion and to once again understand what ‘humane’ really means.

    Well Done Declan!

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  3. Yes, world…..you have hope for a better future because God made people like Declan and the many here battling evil.

    Thank you Declan for continuing the noble battle for justice.

    Thank you NG for featuring Declan….now do more.

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  4. WOW!!!
    Reading the NG article, I forgot Declan received the 2012 ASPCA award.
    Congrats! This young man is going to a good future.
    Declan for President!

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  5. What can we say about such and up standing young man. Adults should take notice about what can be done by one person. Hr did not nor will ever give up the fight for our magnificent horses and other equines. He is an inspiration to us all! I just responded to a holiday email that I received from the whitehouse regarding their festivities. My ccomments were brief and to the point regarding the homelands of the wild horses and the protection of our domestic equines. Wonderful story and a great inspiration to us all. Thank you, we need more children in the world like you! To all the horse warriors out there ….stay warm and keep the faith as we head into this time of miracles..
    .

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  6. Declan, we are all so very proud of you.
    This is something that you have probably read before, but always remember that you have tremendous power when you follow your passion.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1089808/1/index.htm
    Wild West Showdown
    A determined lady called Wild Horse Annie and her gang of school kids have valiantly risen to the defense of the beleaguered mustang

    “The children,” Annie says. “The children. They were the ones who would have to help us.” So the Johnstons sent letters to grade schools across the country, outlining the plight of the wild horses and telling youngsters they could help by writing to Congressmen.

    The first fruits of this campaign came when some children brought a petition to Congressman James C. Wright at his home in Fort Worth. In part, it read: “Imagine…making DOG FOOD out of horses…. We feed the birds…the squirrels and the chipmunks…to SAVE them! Let’s see what we can do about saving the beautiful wild HORSES!!!!!!!!”

    That night Wright dictated the following to his constituents: “Am I going to be susceptible to pressure? Am I going to be influenced by a bunch of children? Am I going to support [Baring’s revived] bill because kids…are sentimental about the wild horses? You bet your cowboy boots I am!”

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    • That article should be required reading! For everyone. What a brave dedicated woman she was. Sadly, the horses she described as stunted & scrubby certainly aren’t that at all. I’ve read about the Morgan & other breeds of stallions that were
      turned out to “improve” the wild horses. Maybe thats one reason why the large majority of them have the conformation & strong bone structure that they do. But regardless – they deserve to be free.

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  7. http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/white_paper.php

    Horse Slaughter –
    Its Ethical Impact and Subsequent Response of the Veterinary Profession

    A White Paper
    Prepared by
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare
    http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org
    Introduction
    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW) is a group of veterinarians committed to equine welfare, and as such we support measures to end horse slaughter including passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176). We are concerned about misinformation being transmitted to Congress and the broader public regarding horse slaughter. VEW believes that certain veterinary professional associations that are actively promoting horse slaughter are undermining our profession’s integrity and the welfare of the horses we care for. In so doing these organizations, of which many of us are members, erroneously purport to speak for our entire profession. Veterinarians should put animal welfare at the top of their list of priorities, not relegate it to an also-ran concern.

    Horse slaughter has never been considered by veterinary professionals to be a form of euthanasia. Congress and the general public must hear from veterinarians that horse slaughter is not and should not be equated with humane euthanasia. Rather, the slaughtering of horses is a brutal and predatory business that promotes cruelty and neglect and which claimed the lives of more than 100,000 American horses in 2008.

    Given that the debate on horse slaughter is at a crucial juncture with the recent closure of the remaining domestic horse slaughter plants under state law, the surge in horses going to a grisly death in Canada and Mexico, and the opportunity currently before Congress to end the suffering of America’s horses through speedy passage of the federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, VEW is compelled to inject its expertise into the arena. This White Paper will, from a professional veterinary perspective, address key points on the issue of horse slaughter and in so doing will lend further credence to calls for a rapid end to this wholly brutal and un-American trade.

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    • Well at least there is ONE vets organization that knows what is right & compassionate AND common sense. Frankly, even if a human being has NO compassion for animals (not us obviously) just looking at the financial part of this whole bunch of crap tells you that a dead horse doesn’t have the value that a living horse does – feed stores, tack stores, veterinarians, boarding facilities, on & on & on.
      How hard is it to get that fact across to these pea-sized brains?

      Like

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