The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day… But, I feel a bit sad because of a letter I received from the United Pegasus Foundation. Do you know them? Well, if you are busy and don’t have time to read about them, but you do have $5 to spare, skip to the last two paragraphs or just click the donate button below. But, if you have time to read, let me tell you what they do…
The United Pegasus Foundation was created by Helen Meredith. She’s a woman equestrian, just like you and me, who’s breed is the Thoroughbred. Well, in 1995 while visiting a feedlot full of off the track TBs, the excess waste and discard in the TB world came to her attention. Helen took it upon herself to start a 501 (c) 3 which she named the United Pegasus Foundation. Helen called everyone she knew and rallied the troops to start rescuing the OTTB (Off The Track TBs) from feedlots and trainers who were ready to let go of certain horses or injured horses. Helen’s initiative helped bring awareness to this deficit in the TB world and many are very grateful to her.
So, after I received the letter, I went to the United Pegasus Foundation website and read about several horses that can be adopted and others that can be sponsored. One that really caught my eye was a TB named, Sand Lizard, that has been there since 1999! Now, that isn’t the thing that is so interesting to me, it is that he had earned $420,402 in his career! OMG! And, there are several similar stories — horses that earned money for their owners only to find themselves dumped on feedlots. You can go to the sponsor page and read those stories here. Helen has 65 horses in residence there…
But, it isn’t only TBs Helen helps… United Pegasus Foundation shined their light on the Premarin industry and upon the thousands of PMU mares (Pregnant Mare Urine) on Canadian Premarin ranches. What is Premarin? PREgnant MAre urINe. Premarin is an estrogen replacement drug that is derived from pregnant mare’s urine. That doesn’t sound so bad until you discover how the mares are kept… Since they have to be pregnant, they are all constantly pregnant. Since they have to have their urine collected, the mares are hooked up to catheters 23 hours a day in a stall. Since the companies want as much urine as they can, they usually pick large breeds for this (and they are more docile). But, the most tragic part is that these mares give birth every year and those foals are removed and most often sent to slaughter… unless, someone like Helen steps in and organizes mass rescues of the spent mares and their babies.
In 2002, a report came out that Premarin wasn’t very effective for women. That news sounds like it would really have helped the horses, and it did in the long run… but the short term effect had all these Canadian ranches closing and dumping thousands of mares, babies and stallions at the slaughterhouses. Helen sprung into action creating awareness across the country and organized for thousands of these Canadian horses to be brought down into the US and adopted out. I have first hand experience with this as I adopted the sweetest baby draft gelding from them in 2004. I named him Willy and his picture is the second one from the top.
Anyway, back to the letter I received. It seems that with this awful economy, UPF is struggling. Now, I know there are several rescues that are struggling so I’m not playing favorites… I’m just trying to think of another way to help them all. And, today, I thought I would tell you about Helen, what she has done and then ask for a very small, manageable ($5) donation.
You see, I think that it is sometimes easier to donate a very small amount anonymously. I think that sometimes if a person only has $5 to spare, they are embarrassed to admit that since their name shows up on the receipt. Or, they feel like a cheapskate even though that is truly all that they have available. So, I thought that maybe if I set up a larger bucket account and asked you to donate only $5 into that bucket, as a group, we could donate one larger chunk. I have no idea if this will work. But, I am adding a button at the bottom which only allows for a $5 donation. (You can click it a few times… or go to the United Pegasus donate page and donate all you want and get a tax deductible receipt!) In this way, at the end of the week when most of you readers have read this post, I’ll have a fund bucket full of $5 donations. I will then let you know how much we garnered as a group and then I’ll send it off to Helen via Pay Pal and you can all view the receipt.
I have no idea if this will work, but if it does, I will do this fund bucket every month.
Anyway, it is truly anonymous and I will absolutely send every penny off to the United Pegasus Foundation. The donation button for your $5 is below. I will keep very careful tabs. Thank you all, in advance.