Horse rescue needs rescue
By JASON DUNOVANT, Smith Mountain Eagle September 29, 2010
Unfortunately, some dog and cat owners have been known to mistreat their pets. If those pets are lucky, animal control finds out about the mistreatment and takes them to an animal shelter where they are rehabilitated and adopted by a loving family.
But what happens if the animal being mistreated is not a dog or a cat? What if the animal mistreated is a horse? The Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue (RVHR), based in Hardy, has provided a shelter for rescued horses since 2002. Since that time they have had 198 horses come through the program with 162 of those adopted so far. Members rehabilitate abused horses and help them to find a loving family to adopt them.
Often times horses who come to the shelter are starving and have several medical problems. Animal Control picks up the horses and brings them to Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, sometimes from as far away as California.
“We deal mostly with starvation and abuse cases,” RVHR president Patricia Muncy said.
While at the shelter, the horses are evaluated to see what they need and then they are rehabilitated. They are given proper medical treatment and then behavioral problems are worked on to allow them to be adopted again.
Over the last few years, costs have increased for horse care and donations to the RVHR have slowly begun to decrease. Earlier this year the RVHR was $17,000 in debt and in desperate need of donations to keep the facility going. Volunteers were also needed to help keep the shelter going.
Luckily donations have been coming in to help keep the shelter going, but much more is needed.
“We’ve raised half of it so far,” Muncy said. “But we still need help and we still need volunteers.”
The average cost to care for a horse is $200 a month and the number of horses coming to the RVHR continues to grow. Six new horses arrived at the shelter just last week.
Muncy encourages anyone interested in learning more about the RVHR to visit their website at www.rvhr.com or contact her at 540-721-1910. Donations can also be sent to P.O. Box 13, Hardy, Virginia 24101.
Anyone who cannot donate time or make a cash donation is encouraged to donate items. The RVHR also accepts hay and grain donations as well as fresh apples and fresh carrots. Muncy also accepts can carrots and can corn for some of her older horses that have trouble chewing. She is also in need of corn oil that she uses to help malnourished horses get their weight back.