Sunday, December 4, 2011

Neglected Horses in Texas: Drought & Famine

The drought in Texas has continued unabated for months and months. Lakes have disappeared, pastures have turned into deserts and hay fields have shriveled into weedy dirt lots. The result is soaring hay prices, abandoned horses and overworked horse rescue organizations.

Here's just one article about the problem: Yahoo News: Texas Drought Leaves Heartbreaking Toll of Abandoned Horses

...and here's one very competent, very well-run Texas horse rescue trying to cope with dozens of unwanted horses, to the point that they can't take in any more: Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society
They have dozens upon dozens of really nice horses desperate for homes, and the organization has waived or lowered adoption fees on many of them. I myself am desperately in love with some of their donkeys (but the hubby has vetoed adoption of any pets of the long-eared variety).

"Jack Sparrow," a super cute donkey available for just $200.

The drought is so severe, it's the worst Texas has experienced in its history, at least since records started being kept in 1895. With all the water drying up, weird things are being found all over the state, including previously submerged slave cemeteries, ancient Indian remains, drowning victims and even missing pieces from the doomed space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated over hundreds of miles of land in 2003. The NYTimes has a great article here.

The most heartbreaking and interesting news piece I've run across is a photoblog on the disaster done by Collective Vision here.

The animals in Texas are obviously suffering, and if you have any spare change, I urge you to donated it to Bluebonnet or any other horse rescue organization in Texas.

One question: why aren't there more free horses in Texas Craigslist ads? Admittedly I only browsed briefly, but there are far fewer free horses there than this level of tragedy would seem to create. Sure, there are cheap horses, and a few free companion-only horses, but no more than in Wisconsin. Do Texas people simply not use Craigslist as much? Are ranchers there just sending horses to slaughter instead? Is there a stubborn feeling among ranchers that there's just no way they'll give horses away for free? If you know, please tell us.

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