Equine Rescues Expect To Feel Financial Effects Of Pandemic In Winter

A study out of Britain indicates that animal welfare organizations are expecting to struggle throughout the winter months as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt.

The equine portion of the survey, which was conducted by the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) and the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH), was sent to 37 NEWC members and 126 equine rescues. Of those asked, 74 responded. Respondents feel that their organizations will be most impacted by the pandemic during winter months when welfare cases tend to rise because of the increase in costs associated with caring for horses.

It was noted that even with decreased donations, rescues still must attend to the animals in their care. British equine rescue and adoption agencies are once again placing horses into homes, but an increase in horses needing their assistance is expected.

There are nearly 850,000 equines in the United Kingdom with at least 7,000 of those animals were considered at risk before the pandemic hit. The rescues responded that they feel the pandemic will place additional pressure on equine welfare organizations, many of which are already operating at capacity.

Over 83 percent of the responding organizations, both large and small, reported that their fundraising has been impacted with the pandemic, with more than half reporting an income reduction of over 50 percent. Rescues that utilized shops to sell merchandise closed to visitors, greatly impacting their donations. More than 40 percent of organizations furloughed staff and over 70 percent had to reduce or eliminate volunteer help. Despite this bleak financial news, 62 percent of rescues still took in urgent welfare cases during lockdown.

An Equine Emergency Rescue Fund has been established to provide grants to British equine welfare organizations in need of financial assistance.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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