It is a sad reality that many horses, ponies, donkeys and foals will starve and die this winter due to the neglect of their owners, who have either abandoned them or have failed to arrange feed for them over the freezing months.
This is according to the ISPCA who have launched a ‘Hay Drive’ to highlight the issue and to raise funds to feed abandoned and starving animals in its care.
Last year the ISPCA saw a dramatic increase in the number of starving animals requiring urgent care. The problem was exacerbated by the particularly severe weather.
This winter the ISPCA is urgently asking people to donate €3 to help fill the ISPCA hay barn. €3 will buy a bale of hay and feed an abandoned horse for a day. People can either donate to the Hay Drive via the ISPCA website www.ispca.ie or by texting the word Hay to 57802.
The ISPCA provides urgent care and rehabilitation to animals who are victims of cruelty, neglect and abuse throughout the year. However, during the harsh winter months, animals need this help more than ever. Sadly the economic recession is having a devastating effect on hundreds of animals throughout the country. It is clear that in many cases animals are the first to feel the brunt of reduced finances.Speaking at the launch of the Hay Drive, ISPCA Director, Barbara Bent said, “Last winter was a terrible year for horses and donkeys in Ireland. Ninety per cent of the horses that came in to us were suffering from starvation. It was horrendous, the worst I have ever seen. Some of them we could save but unfortunately there were others who didn’t make it. This was partly due to very harsh weather conditions but also the lack of feed, ignorance and neglect and in some cases downright cruelty.”
“Those of us working in animal welfare were stretched to our very limit trying to cope with the numbers of malnourished horses around the country.
“It was very distressing to see these abandoned animals with no feed whatsoever left in totally bare fields or on waste ground, especially in the snow and frost. A bale of hay can make all the difference for survival, especially for the young and weak ones and for this year’s foals who are the most vulnerable.”
We are urgently asking those who care about what happens to these horses to donate €3, or whatever you can afford, to the Hay Drive. This will feed a horse for a day and means the ISPCA can continue to help vulnerable animals lead a life free from suffering and pain.”