Why so many horses and ponies are being abandoned

We found this interesting article on the Daily Mail Online website and wanted to share it with you. The article is about Rupert, a six-month-old foal dumped on the side of a busy road outside Southampton. Emaciated and riddled with worms, he was shivering pitifully in the winter weather and clinging to life by a thread! How could anyone dump an animal in this way, but sadly Rupert is not alone – you’ll recall that little Dante was dumped at our gate back in January.

People must consider the costs of keeping a horse, as they are far from cheap! Increasing costs mean few owners can keep up with looking after a horse – it costs over £3,000 a year to keep a horse, on stables, hay and feed alone! Last year, the RSPCA alone took in 1,500 horses and ponies, many of them family pets. With so many being abandoned, it falls on us and other charities to pick up the cost, at a time when donations are generally down due to the economic climate.

We have to pay for passports, as invariably these horses don’t have them, isolation and bio security, blood tests, vets fees – as there is usually a lot of routine things wrong with them, such as lice, laminitis, overgrown teeth ,no vaccinations, no worming etc – we have to provide all of that and get back on top of everything that has been allowed to slide, and then pay to keep the animal from there on.

It is so costly for us with our annual running costs already exceeding £400,000 per year. Owners have to be more responsible and not get a horse unless they can be sure they can afford it. They need to look ahead – what if they die, they become terminally ill, they lose their job, get pregnant, go to college, or get divorced? All of these factors need to be considered. What will happen to the horse as a result?

With dwindling buyers, more horses than ever are being abandoned, so people who breed horses also need to ask themselves – do we really need yet another horse, as for every one bred, another further down the line gets chucked out or abandoned. Harsh but sadly true!

You can read the full Daily Mail article here.

If you would like to make a donation to Remus to help save horses like Rupert, please visit our Just Giving page here.

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