In the News
Rumors had people questioning if the equine rescue would continue operating
Bahorich reporter5:06 p.m.
The Roanoke Valley Horse
Rescue is open and operating.The only thing its not doing these days is taking in anymore horses.
The owners say that’s only because they’re so full.
The rescue in Franklin County has been taking in abused, neglected and
unwanted horses for nine-years.
When we visited just three-weeks ago, several of the horses were still
recovering from the equine illness that forced the owners to close its gates for
a self-imposed quarantine this summer.
Even though there have been some bumps in the road, the rescue says it will
continue to the serve the community.
“We are planning for the future. We’ve got some great plans. We’re breaking
ground this week on the spot for a medical barn, so we’re really moving forward
with the plans that we’ve got, so we’re not going anywhere anytime soon!” says
Jason Muncy, Chairman of the Board for the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue.
The Muncy’s think the rumor may have started after The Roanoke Valley Equine
Clinic announced on its facebook page it would be closing at the end of this
month, after nearly 30-years in business.
The two organization are not linked.
If I may borrow a phrase from thegreat Mark Twain, “The rumors of our demise have been greatly
exaggerated,” Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue Inc. is not closing.
It seems there have been rumors and gossip floating around that we are
closing. Some have even given a date of the end of November.
This cannot be further from the truth. Quite the contrary, we continue to
plan for the future. Despite the poor economy we continue to care for the
horses under our management and continue to assist the community in a
variety of ways. What we have had to do is stop accepting new horses until we
are able to find homes for the wonderful horses we already have. This
decision does not come lightly, but with the realization we can’t help them
all. However, as soon as we are able to place some of the
horses we have we will be able to open our doors to new ones
that need our help. Becoming a caregiver to a rescue horse saves
more than one life.
I must also say a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and those who have made
donations of money, feed and goods. Without the hard work of the
volunteers and the generosity of you many, many donors our work would not be
possible. So again, thank you.
One thing I have learned over the past nine years, is that no matter how bleak things look,
somehow someway whatever it is we need, be it money or an uncommon
medicine or piece of equipment, the community around us always comes
through. While it can often be tough to keep a positive outlook one must
have hope, hope for the future.
We have some big plans and big hopes. Earlier this year you may have read about the plans
for a medical barn. The cost isn’t low and the goals are high,
but in the next two weeks, with the small grants that we have received, we will
break ground and begin preparing the area for the barn. While we have
nowhere near all of the funds necessary we are going to put the shovel to the
dirt and get started. By taking one small step at a time with a
little love, a little sweat and probably a few tears we shall prevail as it
seems we always do.
So join me in having hope for the future, that the promise of tomorrow will outshine that of today.
Last, but not least, we have one very important request of you personally. In an
effort to provide truthful information to our community, please cross post this letter everywhere you possibly can.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Jason E. Muncy
Board of Directors
Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, Inc.
November 13th 2011
The Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue initiated the quarantine July 5 over “equine strangles.”
By Duncan Adams
The center had voluntarily initiated the quarantine July 5 after five horses were determined to be suffering from the common disease. It lifted related restrictions Oct. 20.
Ultimately, 13 horses at the center had the disease, said Pat Muncy, executive director. One died. Two horses went blind, and Muncy said she attributes their lost sight to complications tied to equine strangles.
In August, about one month into the quarantine, the rescue center had 33 horses and wasn’t accepting new horses or seeking homes for the animals on hand.
As of Wednesday, the center had 51 horses.
Muncy attributed the increase primarily to the struggling economy. For one thing, she said, people have returned so far this year 11 horses previously adopted and other potential adopters are wary of adding the expense of caring for an animal.
“People are losing their homes. They’ve lost their jobs. They’ve had to give up their farms,” Muncy said. “We have horses up for placement but nobody is taking them. It’s bad. It’s the economy.”
And with so many horses on hand, the horse rescue center needs volunteers to help care for the animals, she said.
“There’s 51 of them that can use some hands-on attention,” Muncy said.
Founded by Muncy in 2002 on 21 acres in Hardy, the nonprofit Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue works to find homes for horses that might have been abandoned, injured, neglected, seized or otherwise left in distress.
Cases of “equine strangles” at Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue mean no visitors or new horses.
By Duncan Adams
Two new outbreaks discovered Monday of a disease that is both common and highly contagious among horses led Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue to continue the voluntary quarantine of its facility in Hardy for at least another 30 days.
The nonprofit first initiated the quarantine July 5 after five horses were determined to be suffering from “equine strangles” — a disease caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms include nasal discharge, fever and enlarged lymph nodes that can become abscessed.
During the quarantine, no horses leave the property, no new horses come in and no visitors are allowed.
The disease sounds worse than it often is. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, “most horses with infection recover without complication.” As of Monday, 12 of the rescue center’s 33 horses had the disease, said Pat Muncy, executive director.
No horses there have died from equine strangles, she said, though complications associated with the disease can sometimes be fatal.
“There’s no treatment, per se,” she said. “They run fevers and begin to get abscesses and we keep them clean.”
She said the all-volunteer staff works to cool horses suffering high fevers.
The AAEP’s overview of the disease reports that “antibiotic therapy remains controversial for the treatment of strangles.” Horses that weather the disease develop an immunity to it, according to the association.
Muncy emphasized that equine strangles is not something humans need to fret about catching. But people can be a source of transmission between horses. As in, if a visitor rubs a sick horse’s nose and then rubs the nose of a healthy horse, bingo. Muncy said she believes, based on several circumstances, that someone who had recently handled horses sick with the disease visited the center and unknowingly introduced it there.
Francois Elvinger is a professor of epidemiology in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech.
“The agent of equine strangles does not cause disease in humans,” Elvinger said. “Strangles occurs so often we would know if it was a threat to humans.”
Founded by Muncy in 2002 on 21 acres in Hardy, Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue works to find homes for horses that might have been abandoned, injured, neglected, seized or otherwise left in distress.
Muncy said the organization is still arranging adoptions for horses that have never visited the center. And the Franklin County center is accepting volunteer applications and donations.
The rescue’s website, www.rvhr.com, contains a wish list.
These days, the center gallops through supplies of disinfectant cleaner and related cleaning goods.
And the horses are segregated into three groups: those that have had the disease and gotten over it; those that are currently sick; and, those that haven’t been infected.
By Morgan Donnelly
Published: July 18, 2011
The gate to the Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue is closed, and it won’t open again for another month; due to a voluntary quarantine.
“We just wanted to make sure no on gets infected because of these horses being infected,” says rescue owner, Pat Muncy,
The number of horses with equine strangle is up from 5 last week to now 8. Equine veterinarian Chris Sumner says with this contagious illness, the quarantine is a safety precaution for other horse owners.
“It would be really risky for them to come in and than carry it back home. It could cause a larger outbreak if she allowed horses or people in,” says Sumner.
Equine strangles is so contagious no one except Muncy and the vet can go near the horses.
“When I am helping pat at the rescue this has to be my last call everyday,y and than I have to go clean up everything vigorously before I go see other horses,” says Sumner.
Pat Muncy, the owner of the rescue, believes some one came to the rescue who had come in contact with the illness. While people can carry the illness, they will not experience symptoms because we cannot be infected with it. It does not affect us the way it does horses. Muncy says once the quarantine is lifted, things are going to change.
“When they first come in it is wash your hands and we will have to be a little bit more dilegent about doing that again,” says Muncy.
Muncy believes the horses will make a full recovery and hopes they can re-open the rescue by mid august.