The BPP had a wrenching report on the growing issue of horse abandonment today -- apparently, some horse owners are caught in a perfect storm of rising fuel prices, rising feed prices and not-rising income, and so they're just ... letting their horses roam free, on the theory that the horses will find food. Answer to that: no, they don't. These domestic animals don't know what's safe to eat, they often can't find water, and they're at terrible risk from coyotes and wild mustangs, which are quite territorial. Assuming they're not killed by other animals, these horses often starve to death.
Anyway, it's a terrible situation all the way around for cash-strapped horse owners. (It's either abandonment or euthanasia.) Brent Glover, the gentleman on the BPP who was talking about this growing problem -- and it's only going to get worse as people get more squeezed for cash and hay prices stay high -- runs Orphan Acres, an equine sanctuary in Idaho. (At left: one of their rehab patients.) The sanctuary has a permanent herd of 25 horses, and a lot of animals cycling through rehab and foster care. They need everything from horse blankets to medicines to feed. They do take donations, and I've written to ask how one can sponsor a horse -- I'm wondering if it's something a group of people can go in on.
You all know how strongly I feel about humankind's moral obligations to our domestic animals. If you're interesting in going in on a horse sponsorship with me or can think of another way to help Orphan Acres, please let me know.