Well, we did it! We accrued monies in the Bucket Fund of $55 for The United Pegasus Foundation! Yay! I rounded it up a bit then worked the Pay Pal buttons. Off it went! Here is the receipt.
I must say that in my heart, I was a bit disappointed in myself that I’m not a better fundraiser. I thought I could have inspired more $5 donations. If you have any ideas for me to be a better Fund Raiser, please let me know. I’d happily hear all ideas!
I am hoping that my skills improve this month so we can collect a bit more for our Iron Man Foal and his buddies. Here is a link to the Bucket Fund page. Thank you again, for every penny! I know it means much to the chosen ones!
Also, it has occurred to me that I, alone, will have the receipts to these donations. That is not why I’m doing this… But if this upsets anyone, please know that it would be wonderful for anyone wanted to go to these rescues and donate on their own to get an individual receipt. No worries! The more the merrier!
AN IDEA FOR HORSE RESCUES
Now that we are speaking of people who help horses in an organized way, I wanted to touch on an article I saw on MSNBC. You might have seen it as well.
Basically, the article spoke of several cities that are banning pet shops from selling puppies because they believe this trade helps support the puppy mill industry. So, NO MORE, they said. And, interestingly, it is helping stop the puppy mill industry… But, my point is another idea presented in the article that has come out of this idea.
BOUTIQUE VIEWING AREAS
It seems that some shelters in those towns with no pet store puppies have come up with a very good idea. They realized that many puppy purchasers now had no where to go to purchase their puppies. But, they also knew that these types of puppy buyers were not inclined to savor the pound experience. Not many people do savor the pound experience.
I know that it is very difficult for me to visit the local pound. It basically destroys me. It is heart wrenching to see all these homeless and doomed animals when you can only save one. I get it. I totally understand how certain folks want a different environment to find their new dog.
Although these ‘not wanting to go to the pound’ feelings don’t help save lives (and we hope those folks help in other ways…), they do leave a market untapped. There is a whole group of dog adopters out there who are ready, willing and able but just cannot bring themselves to stomach the shelter walk.
A HA! THE PLAN
So, these brilliant Animal Welfare groups have created “boutique” viewing parlors that resemble pet shops inside of their facilities. Isn’t this an incredible idea?! What they have done is created a very comfortable, warm and inviting room that houses several dogs/cats in appropriate containers who are easily viewed in a non-threatening environment. Yay!
The great part is, as one example in Albuquerque, since the ban started animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent. Peggy Weigle, executive director of Animal Humane New Mexico. explained her goal was to adopt out 45 animals in the first month; instead, they placed 118 animals in new homes. Adoptions have been so plentiful, Weigle said, that her organization is preparing to open a second adoption boutique. Weigle said she recently had a young purebred Yorkshire Terrier available for adoption for just $135, the standard adoption fee.
What a success! You can read the full article here.
HOW CAN THIS APPLY TO THE HORSES?
Well, I’m sure there is a way… I’m sure if we presented this idea to the smart folks that facilitate this sort of thing, there would be answers. So, I’m asking you all to pass this idea around to all the horsey folks you know. Somewhere, it will make a difference.
To step back a bit, many people think that Horse Rescues only have old, sick or useless horses because the “good ones would have been adopted”. Sigh. As we all know, often horses are driven straight to the feedlots because the breeder or rancher or previous owners just want to be rid of them. The feedlots pay good money right up front and there’s no messing with classified ads, feeding while waiting or the hassle of the auction. Sad but true. So, many very usable and wonderful horses go straight to the feedlots. (Not that Equine Rescue Groups only rescue from feedlots, they don’t. They rescue from everywhere and they rescue fine horses every day.)
So, why not create a boutique type of viewing area for potential horse adopters? I’m not saying build a new barn (although that would be dreamy), I’m saying that perhaps there is a way to spiff it up a bit and re-brand certain rescues as the “place to go to get quality rescue horses” for that crowd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all rescue horses aren’t quality, but there are many adopters who want a certain type of riding horse or kids’ horse or you know… And, if one rescue in the area was the designated place to house those horses (from all rescues in the area) maybe that cooperative would work.
I can just hear it now, “But Horse Rescues are struggling as it is on a shoe string budget…” Yup. I know. But, there is probably a way TO come together and learn from the dog/cat shelters in New Mexico.
There ARE groups of horsey folks in the market for new equines every day. Those people could adopt a rescue horse but they would never think of going to a rescue to get one. It hasn’t occurred to them because they have an impression in their minds that prohibits them from considering rescue horses. All we have to do is change their minds. Advertisers do it to us consumers every day.
As one example, here is a website of photos (jodiesinclair.com) of Rescue Horses from one particular rescue. They look like they should be on the cover of Nat’l Geo… They look gorgeous! This kind of Rescue Horse advertising could wet the whistle, so to speak. Of course, photos like these are expensive — but not necessarily (Sinclair donated her time and photos for the rescue). Perhaps there could be a network. In fact, I think there are some in the works… I’ll keep you posted on that. But, the idea here is to create a more user friendly environment for potential horse adopters.
I know there is an idea in this article that can be applied to the horses. Chew on it and pass it around. Someone will figure this out. After all, the “boutique” adoption feel is working in the small animal shelter paradigm. And, I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but they did it.
I’m just sayin’…
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
Donate $5 to the Iron Man Foal Bucket Fund Now! To read about the Bucket Fund, click here. The June Bucket Fund is for the mustang foals rescued by LRTC. Read about it here.
(photo credit, Trish Lowe)
I totally understand what you’re saying about the apprehensions people have about taking on rescue horses. See, it’s even right there, in the way I wrote that: “taking on”, like it’s some kind of huge challenge, whereas for a sale horse, I would have just said “buying.” Humph. I have to say that I felt exactly the same way before adopting two lovely mares that were both headed to the place-from-where-no-horse-returns. I was especially reticent about my TB mare. I kept thinking, well, they’ve told me she had a tendon problem, so I guess I shouldn’t expect her to do much. I’ll probably be able to ride her for awhile, and then she’ll kind of be a Ferrari-like trail horse, you know that really fancy, expensive car that you keep under buble wrap in the garage and only take out for a Sunday drive. Boy was I wrong! Two years later, she’s going strong, absolutely fabulous to work with, I just love her to bits.
Pony wasn’t so much of a worry, since she was just young and in the wrong place at the wrong time, a couple divorced and there she ended up at a horse dealer’s, fat and ready to go become… I cringe to think of it. She was probably 20 months old when I went to get her, so obviously had never been ridden (thankfully!) and as for her respect for human beings, well, we some work to do. Now she’s almost 3, and I’m pretty sure that if I were willing to part with her, someone write a whopping check to take her off my hands. She’s a fast learner, has beautiful gaits, and is perfectly happy to go off on a solo trail ride, not even flustered by sheep, cows, kids on 4 wheelers… her fav activity is to go on a trail ride alongside my husband, who rides a sort of bicycle/skateboard contraption thingy, pulled by our husky. THey can come running up our behinds, and she never so much as blinks an eye!
I would say keep it up on the bucket fund. I will be donating at some point, but for the moment, our finances are pretty strapped, so even 5 dollars isn’t really an option. But in the months to come, I’m hoping that things will work out a bit better and I’ll be able to start contributing each month. I do like the idea of being able to give anonymously… 5 dollars is certainly better than 0, but sometimes, it’s a little uncomfortable to give so “little”, when you know that some people give hundreds.
Dawn, maybe your blog needs more exposure to raise more money. Perhaps you can make a more direct plea to your readers to send a link to your blog to the horse people they know. I have sent it to some people I know, but I bet if I rack my brain, I could think of more especially for this good reason.
How about a media campaign to get people to think about getting a horse from a rescue like the campaigns that ask people to “adopt” rather than buy a dog or cat. Let’s chat about this when you return from your trip.
I have a horse rescue in Oregon and I wholeheartedly agree with you about people needing a pleasant place to view horses that are up for adoption. BUT I feel very strongly that an honest, well run horse rescue facility should be a pleasant experience EVERYWHERE on the property, not just in one selected area. If the rescue can’t afford to properly maintain their property and facilities, then they should not be operating a rescue.
On the subject of fund raising, unfortunately that is a tough one no matter who or where you are. I have no secret solutions to successful fund raising other than work hard at what you do and hopefully the outcome will be in your favor. 90% of my funds come from my personal pocket book. The rest comes from private donations and I buy and sell tack to raise money.
Good luck with your bucket fund, it’s a great idea.
Wow! Great food for thought!! Let’s pass it all around!
omg I couldn’t hardly read your whole post because I wanted to respond so quickly. First, don’t feel bad – asking for $5 donations is a reai failure – I’ve never had any success at even askign for $10 or $20 fro people. I think they feel it can’t make that much difference – which is sorta true individuially – but I tried hard to convince them if EVERYONE did it, it’s huge. No success. I think $55 is great and I bet UPF is happy!
Second – I have some issues with rescue as it goes on these days. As you know, I’ve been running TGC for 16 years now. I get horses from private parties, almost exclusively. Some people I hate, some really trying to do the right thing by their horses. Because I really hate people raising hundreds of dollars to pay the kill buyers and feed lots, and then dumping the “saved” horses on overburdened rescues. The money that benefits the kill buyers could have supported those horses at a rescue for several months, during which time it could be rehabed, retrained and rehomed.
I have a dream. Can’t get anyone to listen, but a true dream. I envision, in CA for instance, 2 to 3 huge facilities (as space is the biggest problem rescues have) where people can turn in their horses the same way they can turn in their dogs and cats. So many possibilities here – take the horse for at least one month’s support; take the horse for free and if they want it back when their circumstances change, they can buy it back for board and expenses incurred; adoption facilities; clinics; real-life training for vets and farriers and trainers, getting discount or even free services for the horses; and a sanctuary for those horses who can’t be rehomed for whatever reason. All horses can be used in lessons and ‘camp’ settings, getting groups of Boy and Girl Scouts out to clean, feed, groom and ride the horses for badges, therapy opportunities etc. A resource for the whole horse community, and for new prospective horse owners to learn how to handle and care horses before they buy one.
I imagine it run by rescues – no questions donations would still be sought. But many of the activities would generate some money to help run them. And I want the states to “give” the land to the rescue, on a 99 year lease or something. No cost of rent would be huge. And what state doesn’t have acres and acres of land lying fallow? All that’s needed is electricity and water. EVERY STATE should have several shelters of this sort. And money going now to kill buyers, and transport and quarantine would go to these shelters. In addition, how about little taxes to go to them – 5 cents on every item of horse tack, brushes, anything horse related (not feed) to go to the shelters; 10 cents on every rodeo, show, or race ticket to go to the shelters,etc. Can you imagine how that would add up? Not to mention a $10 fee for every foal that goes to rescue – microchipping required for every foal so if it ends up at rescue, the rescue can come back to the breeder for help – hold those breeders accountable! Vets could work with this – a percentage of their fee in microchipping for instance; and supply vets with the readers so they can insure that everyhorse has a microchip – and if not – it’s mandatory! Accountability is going to slow people who breed indiscriminately down a lot!
I have to stop – got 35 stalls to clean. But what do you think of these possibilities? And how do I find someone to donate the first 100 acres here in Southern California so I can get going on it!?? Thanks for listening…
I didn’t know what the “bucket fund” was. You need to make it more obvious. I would have donated before. Make it clear that the bucket fund goes to a charity and what that it. Hope that helps! -Beth