Equine Rescue: What's Real, What's Not?
By Chelsea McGuire, Arizona Farm Bureau Government Relations Director: When the economic recession of the late 2000’s hit Arizona, one of the unexpected consequences was an alarming number of abandoned horses. Unable to afford food or shelter, horse owners simply abandoned or set free their recreational horses, and people were at a loss for where to send the animals for proper care. One of the best options was an equine rescue organization.
The Equine Rescue Registry, managed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, is meant to help Arizona families know what horse rescue facilities are operating effectively and honestly.
But, according to Soleil Dolce, an Arizona Farm Bureau Member and Director of Arizona Equine Rescue Organization, Inc., a burning question remained: “How can people tell legitimate horse rescues from rescues that may not be operating honestly?” Dolce explains: “A lot of
The Arizona Department of Agriculture also recognized the need for an easy-to-access
According to Dolce, the registry “was designed to help rescues prove they followed some minimum standard for potential supporters. A key element
But despite all the work the equine community did to establish the registry, and how easy it is to apply, very few rescues have actually registered! Dolce urges those interested in the equine rescue registry to encourage others to get involved: “I highly recommend rescues use and advertise this credential as another way to build trust with their community. I encourage rescue supporters to look for this license to further assure themselves they are working with an organization that holds themselves to a higher standard.”
To apply to certify your organization as an Arizona Equine Rescue Organization, find the Equine Forms listed at. https://agriculture.az.gov/livestock-official-forms. To find the current list of registered rescues, visit http://searchagriculture.az.gov/esd/equinerescue.aspx.