Plan is to set up base at Hipodromo Camarero.
Various equine industry groups are working together with the Humane Society of the United States to form a plan to provide aid to horses in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island Sept. 20.
Marty Irby, senior advisor of equine protection and rural affairs for HSUS, said Sept. 26 that the current plan is to make Hipodromo Camarero the base for receiving aid. Groups involved include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, The Jockey Club, and the United States Equestrian Federation. Irby said the groups will reconvene Sept. 28 to discuss further plans.
“We all sort of have a list of tasks that we’re working on to help basically move feed, hay, and supplies into the region and specifically sort of make—and this is subject to the proper approvals—the track in San Juan (Camarero) a home base, to first help there and afterward others (around the island) who may need supplies and things,” Irby said.
“The AAEP said that they have access to a large amount of supplies … HSUS has about 1,100 bales of hay that’s ready to go anytime,” he added. “We’re just waiting to hear back from the guys who are handling the flight arrangements because there’s an issue of proper chain of command and paperwork and there’s also an issue of debris and whether they can land the plane. We’re trying to work through those things, but everyone on every end is willing to move forward, it’s just working through the logistics.
“It is really great to see everybody from all of these organizations chip in and go head first and try to do everything they can to help.”
Sweeping across the Gulf Coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane over the past weekend, Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic flooding has put the Houston and surrounding area equine community in a state of distress. Declared a major disaster and weather event, hundreds of horses and livestock have been affected.
Banding together as a community, emergency rescues, fellow equestrians opening up their barns for shelter and extensive veterinary care has been required over the last several days. As the rain continues to fall, rising flood waters will make extended care for displaced large and small animals on an ongoing need.
Supporting the efforts of emergency response groups and organizations that are helping horses impacted by the flooding, US Equestrian is providing financial assistance through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and well-being of horses during trying times. Since its inception, over $370,000 has been donated to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund is strictly used to benefit horses and horse owners.
Make a donation to the USEF Disaster Relief Fund here.
US Equestrian will be working with the Houston SPCA to support their rescue and rehabilitation efforts through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
Encouraging donations to help the horses affected by Hurricane Harvey, US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said, “as part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of horses, the USEF disaster relief fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. The outreach and generosity of the equestrian community to support the ongoing emergency assistance in this and future disasters allows us to provide direct financial assistance to the groups involved in the ongoing rescue efforts.”
For more information on the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund, please contact Vicki Lowell, firstname.lastname@example.org.