Humanity for Horses Rescue on Vancouver Island is shutting its doors for good.
Duncan’s Rebecca Sanesh, who started the non-profit society that has been buying horses bound for slaughter from auctions and tries to find caring foster homes for them since 2015, said the society is too strapped for cash and volunteers to continue operations.
She said HHR had an infusion of money and volunteers last year after its financial plight got out through the media, but that help has since dried up and subsequent fundraisers have not been successful to raise the required funds to keep the society in operation.
Ganesh, a single mom who also holds down a full-time job and a part-time job to help pay for HHR, said she recently decided to close the operation and concentrate on rebuilding her personal life, both emotionally and financially.
“I also truly need a physical break as years of dealing with the workload and the health needs of numerous horses, day in and day out, has worn me down,” she said.
“The reality is that the care requirements and costs never end. If money doesn’t come in or volunteers are unavailable or worse, are scheduled and don’t show up, it falls on me to deal with it. Unfortunately, these dynamics and the responsibilities, planned or unplanned, are the rule and not the exception in this endeavour.”
Sanesh said those stresses have been coupled with unwarranted attacks on her and the HHR alleging ethical concerns during the high profile Horse Canada Magazine Horse Hero’s Award contest, as well as multiple calls to the SPCA for which she and the society were repeatedly exonerated of all the accusations made.
Sanesh and the volunteers at HHR have rescued more than 380 horses since the non-profit began.
But the costs of running the operation are approximately $100,000 per year, which includes rent on its 40 acre farm in Duncan, hay, feed, veterinary costs, and the purchase of the horses and their transportation.
Sanesh said there are still more than 30 horses in the care of HHR that need good homes, and she plans to keep the “compromised” horses, including the senior ones and horses with health issues, in her care.
“So there is still hay and feed to be paid for,” she said.
“There is twice daily work to be performed at the barn for 33 horses and the few older individuals that will eventually be put down. We still need funding and volunteers to help out.”
Anyone who can help can contact Sanesh by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.