Our friends at Equine Advocates fight against some of the worst atrocities against horses – equine slaughter and the PMU Industry – and they are featured in the article below by reporter Chris Bragg in the award-winning Times Union newspaper entitled, “Equine Advocates Focuses on Care and Education.” This is a special section dedicated to giving and philanthropy. Please take the time to read the article and then vote to help Equine Advocates continue to get its message out to the public with regard to some of the most vital issues facing wild and domestic equines.
Go to THE BIG TIMES UNION $100,000 GIVEAWAY and vote for EQUINE ADVOCATES! You can do so once per day, per device, through December 14th. This will award $10,000 in free newspaper advertising in the Times Union in 2016 to the top ten winning non-profit organizations. With so many issues at stake, this would be an excellent way for Equine Advocates to reach many more people about these very important issues.
Equine Advocates focus on care and education
Nonprofit works to save equines from slaughter and change public policy
By Chris Bragg
Pensacola Pete, a Standard Donkey is Equine Advocates newest resident. He arrived here on August 14th 2015. He had been abandoned and found by police wandering on the road in Pensacola, Florida along with three other donkeys. According to law enforcement, ranchers often use donkeys to protect their herds of cattle and sheep, but then will turn them loose and abandon them when they sell off their herds. Pete would have ended up at auction and could have been sold for slaughter had he not been rescued. He is definitely one of the lucky ones. Since his arrival here at the sanctuary, Pete has rapidly become one of our most popular equines with a growing fan base and lots of visitors. (Betsy Cotton)
The first horse Susan Wagner ever saved was Gandalf, an equine who had lived at a zoology institute where Wagner worked in the 1990s. The horse “didn’t fit in” at the children’s zoo there, Wagner recalled.
“They said, ‘He’s probably just going to go for meat.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?'” Wagner said. “They were just going to get rid of him, which meant slaughter. I decided at that point I was going to do something about horse slaughter.”
Shocked by the revelation of horse slaughter, in 1996 Wagner founded Equine Advocates, an award-winning nonprofit with a national footprint that has saved thousands of equines, including horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, from slaughter and abuse. In 2004, the nonprofit established the Equine Advocates Rescue and Sanctuary, a 140-acre facility on Route 66 in Chatham.
Wagner — who spent 15 years in the horse racing industry — is not against racing per se. She is against the overbreeding of horses in the industry, which creates a glut and a market in which horses are sold in Mexico and Canada for meat, despite the fact that it’s often toxic to humans and animals.
“Horses should be removed from the food chain,” Wagner said. “We don’t eat them and never will.”
Wagner’s nonprofit has become deeply involved in education and public policy-changing efforts. For nearly a decade, the nonprofit has educated visitors to the Chatham property at its Humane Education Center, offering tours and lectures. The nonprofit has also focused on preventing horse slaughter by helping news organizations with undercover investigations.
Equine Advocates has also fought against the pregnant mares’ urine (PMU) industry, which produces estrogen and hormone-replacement drugs by keeping mares constantly pregnant and collecting their urine.
The practice is not only inhumane but dangerous for consumers, Wagner said, as the product can increase the risks of breast cancer, heart disease and other maladies.
“This is a very old industry that just shouldn’t be around anymore,” Wagner said. “There are many other alternatives that are better and safer.”