Aug. 19, 2016
AMERICAN HUMANE RESCUE TEAM TO HELP ANIMALS CAUGHT IN HISTORIC LOUISIANA FLOODING
LIVINGSTON PARISH, LOUISIANA, August 19, 2016 —American Humane’s renowned animal rescue team is rushing to the Baton Rouge area to help animal victims of the historic flooding, supported by two of the organization’s 50-foot rescue vehicles, which are traveling a combined 2,000 miles to the stricken area.
The deployment of the giant emergency vehicles, a team of seven trained emergency responders, and a veterinarian comes at the request of the Humane Society of Louisiana, which is assisting the government of hard-hit Livingston Parish, where 75 percent of the homes are reported to be destroyed.
The American Humane team’s mission will be to assist and conduct field rescue of animals, provide much-needed care and medical attention, take animals to the established emergency shelter, and relieve overworked staff at the Humane Society of Louisiana. Conditions are expected to be dire. Reports indicate that while the floodwaters are receding, a number of roads remain closed, and there are limited water and food options. Living conditions will be arduous, working in both water and ground environments, and the rescue team will be living in the trailers on bunks and cots.
The giant, 30,000-pound rescue trucks, which left their bases in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, will be arriving today and tomorrow. Each carries supplies and equipment to shelter up to 100 animals.
“Our hearts go out to the people and animals of Louisiana,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “Fortunately, our animal rescue team is well-trained and well-qualified to handle this kind of emergency. Help is on the way!”
Operations will be based at 13525 Florida Blvd, Livingston, LA 70754.
About American Humane and its animal rescue program
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. Its animal rescue program was created in 1916 at the request of the U.S. Secretary of War to rescue war horses on the battlefields of World War I Europe. Since then, it has been rescuing animals of every kind and have been involved in virtually every major disaster relief effort from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes, the Japanese and Haitian earthquakes, and Supestorm Sandy. For more information or to support rescuing animals in need, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
OPERATION GELDING RECEIVES GRANT FROM AAEP FOUNDATION TO EXPAND PROGRAM
$10,000 TOWARD $50,000 GOAL TO GELD 500 HORSES
(Washington, DC) - The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation has awarded the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) a grant of $10,000 to support expansion of the Operation Gelding program.
Operation Gelding provides funds and materials to help groups nationwide organize low-and no-cost clinics for owners who might not otherwise be able to afford to have their stallions castrated by a certified veterinarian.
“By gelding a stallion, the UHC aims to prevent unintentional and overbreeding, thereby reducing the number of unwanted foals,” says Dr. Doug Corey, UHC Chairman. “Castration will produce a calmer horse that is more ridable, trainable, salable, and adoptable, which means he will have a better chance of living a long life as a ‘wanted’ horse in a second or third career.”
The UHC approved an expansion of the program this past June, which will increase funding from $50 to $100 per horse gelded and offer a voucher option to help those with transportation or other issues. These changes will go into effect January 1, 2017; however, funding is still available for clinics in 2016.
“Not only do we plan to offer double funding to hosts clinics, but we want to double the number of horses gelded last year; a lofty goal indeed,” shares UHC Director, Jennifer Purcell. “Funding for Operation Gelding comes solely from donations and grants like this one from the AAEP Foundation. We are grateful for AAEP’s continued support of the UHC’s programs. They were one of the founding members of the Coalition eleven years ago, and remain actively involved today.”
Since its inception in 2010, Operation Gelding has supported 107 clinics in 29 states, resulting in the castration of 1348 stallions, and the reduction of many more unwanted foals.
To help the UHC prevent horses from becoming unwanted, consider supporting the Operation Gelding program by hosting a clinic in your area or sending a tax-deductible contribution to the American Horse Council Foundation. Contact Jennifer Purcell at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the UHC website (www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org) to learn more.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition represents a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together to educate the horse industry about the unwanted horse issue.
AMERICAN HORSE COUNCIL TO UPDATE NATIONAL ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY
STATE BREAKOUTS TO BE INCLUDED
(Washington, DC)- The American Horse Council Foundation is seeking to update the Economic Impact Study of the Horse Industry in 2017.
The 2005 Economic Impact Study documented the economic effects of the racing, showing, recreation and other segments of the horse industry. It established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $39 billion effect on the US economy, involved more than 4 million Americans and 9.2 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. The study also provided invaluable demographic data and insights into professions and other industries that are impacted by the equine ownership.
The study has proven to be extremely helpful to the industry’s efforts in Congress and state legislatures and in documenting its size and diversity to the public, press and media.
The 2017 Study will include expanded demographic information to include the impact that youth involvement has on the industry, as well as a more in-depth of analysis of all segments of the industry—such as rescues and sanctuaries, and therapeutic riding centers.
“The 1996 and 2005 studies gave insight to an industry that operates in every corner of the country and contributes greatly to the American economy and culture,” said Julie Broadway, President of the AHC. “We are looking forward to updating this information to continue to be able to educate not only Congress and state legislatures, but also the industry itself as well.”
If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the update of the national study, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the American Horse Council Foundation. Please email email@example.com or call the AHC at 202-296-4031 with any questions.
GAMING COMMISSION DEALS BLOW TO BROCKTON HORSE RACING PLANS
ADVOCATES FOR BROCKTON RACING PLEAD THEIR CASE
By Jacob Holzma and Colby Burdick for The Eye
A push to expand horse racing in Massachusetts was all but put out to pasture. In a unanimous vote, the five-member state gaming commission rejected a proposal from the newly formed Massachusetts Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to use $1.1 million of the state’s Race Horse Development Fund to repair and operate a Brockton track that has been closed since 2001.
“We have agonized over this, but we have a responsibility to use taxpayer money wisely,” commissioner Gayle Cameron said.
The vote came after commissioners questioned whether they had legal standing to grant funds to refurbish and operate the old track. Chris Carney, whose family operates the track at the Brockton Fairgrounds, said the vote meant there would be no races this year.
“I think we’re going down in flames,” Carney said.
The move is the latest in a two year-long saga over how to spend more than $20 million a year derived from a casino tax that is dedicated to horse racing. The vote likely means that six days of racing, at Suffolk Downs will likely be the only thoroughbred competition in the state this year.
Since Suffolk Downs said it will redevelop its land in Boston and Revere two years ago, various factions have been embroiled in infighting, legal action and mudslinging over bids to establish regular racing again, supported by the special casino tax.
The gaming commission did approve allocating $2.5 million from the racing fund on purses — the money that goes to winning horses – if the new racing actually does take place in Brockton.
Horse breeders hurting
The commission also okayed $400,000 for training and stabling and $262,000 for the new racing group for administration expenses if Brockton racing takes place. But the commission rejected a long list of other funding requests from the group, including the critical money needed to fix up the track. The state gaming commission has said the track would have to pass safety tests before racing would be authorized.
The leader of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, a longer-established group of horse owners and trainers, said he was befuddled by the commission’s decision.
The commission “never asked who the owners were of this group” or “who the trainers are” or “how many horses were racing,” said Anthony Spadea Jr., president of the New England Horsemen. “How do you give away $3.1 million of state taxpayer money” without asking those questions, he said.
The new thoroughbred group split away from the older group last year.
William Lagorio, president of the new horse association, said the rejection of development funding for Brockton was going to hurt Massachusetts.
“It’s livelihoods, it’s farms, it’s jobs, it’s breeding,” Lagorio said. “People are going broke, losing their houses and losing their farms. This was our savior for them, it was a lifeline for them.”
The Race Horse Development Fund was created in 2011 after being quietly inserted into the state’s gambling expansion bill to help foster and support the state’s horse racing industry. Nineteen other states have similar funds.
The fund has raised $23.7 million so far from casino taxes. However, a recent review of the fund’s work by The Eye and WBUR public radio found few gains in horse breeding or racing days.
Lagorio said that the group is not giving up.
But without the development funding, Carney said that this will be his family’s last time around the bend, and it won’t be won’t be applying for any more racing days.
“Thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts will be extinct,” Carney predicted. He said the commission will likely continue to put more money into less- popular harness racing, where buggies are pulled by standardbred horses. There is one harness racing track in the state, in Plainville.
Beth Daley contributed to this report.