Many people saw this winter’s newscasts on TV, heard the radio reports or read the newspaper articles about neglected horses seized by the SPCA.
This past season was a busy one for the SPCA cruelty investigation team based in Kamloops. There were many horses that came into their care from the Interior region. Several horses did not survive due to complications from starvation and neglect, despite the heroic efforts of the Kamloops vets (KLAC).
Many were taken into foster care by experienced horse owners and gradually brought back to health and made ready for adoption.
Three of these fosters came to Clearwater for rehabilitation.
Judy Lestander fostered a two-year-old gelding that had not been handled and was not halter broke. He responded quickly to her natural horsemanship approach and was adopted by Richard Christensen. Richard has continued the gelding’s (now named Casper) training and he will eventually be used for both riding and packing.
Liz Morrison fostered Rosie, a 10-year-old quarter-horse mare. She received some consistent handling, desensitizing, vetting, hoof care, worming and proper nutrition. She has been adopted as a trail horse to a lady near Pinantan Lake.
The remaining filly, a two-year-old named Ellie, is being fostered and trained by Gina Walchuk. Ellie who had not been handled or halter broken before she came to Clearwater. Gina’s training will make her a good candidate for a new home by late spring.
The average cost to the SPCA is approximately $3,000 from the time a horse is brought into care to the time it is adopted out, so they are always grateful for donations towards the care of the horses. Although they appreciate offers of hay and feed, their storage facilities are very limited so cash donations are greatly appreciated.
Foster homes by experienced horse owners are often required, so if you like to volunteer this might be something you could do.
For those who might be interested in adopting, the SPCA provides a full disclosure of health and behaviour. The adoption fees are always reasonable and reflect fair market value. The SPCA has a website of adoptable horses online at www.spca.bc.ca.