Just as there are abused dogs and cats, there are neglected, abused and unwanted horses in the greater Washington Metropolitan area. Unfortunately, facilities capable of caring for large animals are limited.
More than 25 years ago in 1989, while working with humane officers investigating auctions, I personally saw more than 300 cases of horse abuse and neglect in our area in just one year! Unfortunately, even today abuse and neglect continues.
At this and other auctions, old, sick and crippled horses in severe pain
were loaded on slaughter trucks facing a long and painful journey or
death by trampling when they could no longer stand.
The following month, two colts not even one year old died Christmas Eve 1989 from starvation and exposure as they stood outside with no food or shelter from the cold wind. Their only source of water was a frozen pond.
Since founding the ERL in April 1990, I have learned no equine is immune to being mistreated. ERL has provided shelter to everything from miniature mules to draft horses, from unborn foals to 40-year-old mares, from grade horses of unknown breeding to granddaughters of Secretariat and Northern Dancer.
All can be subject to abuse or neglect and all are welcome to ERL. Unfortunately, the farm shelter has limited capacity and often horses in need must be turned away.
We have come as far as we have because of the efforts of horse
lovers throughout the area, but we need your continued support to
ensure the future operation of this shelter for abused equines, and to
work toward improving our facility, enabling ERL to help eve more
horses in the future.
In honor of Bitsy and others that could not be saved, I ask for your
help. Let us work together to offer an end to the suffering for these innocent victims.
"Bitsy", a five year old Thoroughbred mare, sold at a local auction for seven dollars. Too weak to stand when she was whipped through the auction barn, she most likely did not survive the trip to the slaughter house.