A home is what abandoned horses are after
As horse charities gear up for a rise in unwanted animals, you can offer a helping hand by rehoming or purchasing feed and clothing for some rescue cases this winter
Stormy weather and the first heavy frosts last week confirmed that winter is officially here. For most horses, that means a heavier rug and extra feeding, but for hundreds of horses, this winter could literally be the death of them.
Animal welfare groups and charities are bracing themselves for a huge increase in the number of horses and ponies that will need rescuing in the coming months.
Starving and neglected horses will have to be taken in by concerned charities and volunteer groups instead of being looked after by their owners, who will shirk responsibility at every turn.
However, the number of horses the charities can rescue this winter will depend on how many horses they can cater for and unless some of the animals currently staying with them can be rehomed, there will be few spaces for new cases. The Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) is currently seeking homes for numerous horses and ponies, some highlighted on these pages.
Of course, not everyone can offer a home to a rescue animal and there are plenty of other ways to help. The IHWT has an online shop where you can buy gifts for horses, which include a €25 donation towards penicillin, a €60 vet visit, €25 for tetanus shots, €50 for a dentist visit, €30 for a week's supply of painkillers or €30 towards a visit from the farrier.
Other gifts include a €50 donation towards feeding a rescued horse for a month or €100 towards a winter turnout rug.
Contact the Irish Horse Welfare Trust on www.ihwt.ie or at 0404 45720.