The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced that it has issued an emergency grant for $30,000 to Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) in Larkspur, Colo., for their efforts to help horses evacuated to local equine facilities during the Black Forest Fire in Colorado's El Paso County. The resources of local organizations are tapped due to the breadth of this fire, which has destroyed more than 500 homes and 15,000 acres, making the it the most destructive in Colorado history.
“Horses have been central to the ASPCA's work since our founding in 1866, and we are honored to be able to support the efforts of Front Range Equine Rescue in their response to the devastating wildfire in Colorado's Black Forest,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “This tragic event has impacted hundreds of horse owners, and we applaud the local groups who are stepping up to help care for displaced equines during this very difficult time.”
When the Black Forest fire began, FRER took in several evacuated horses and contacted evacuation sites to provide hay and other needed supplies. Several semi-truck loads of hay were delivered to hundreds of displaced horses, and FRER has been working with two veterinary practices to offer financial aid to the injured or sick horses removed from the fire.
“While the flames and billowing smoke are gone, the devastation caused by the Black Forest Fire will remain for a long time,” said Hilary Wood, president and founder of FRER. “Many horse owners have lost everything and do not want to part with their beloved equines. Front Range Equine Rescue has pledged to continue assisting horse owners in need, and with the very generous help of an emergency grant from the ASPCA, this effort can continue.”
At the height of the fire, the evacuation area included 94,000 acres and 13,000 homes. Roughly 38,000 people were evacuated and a significant portion of those evacuees are horse owners. The funds for this grant will be used to continue providing hay and feed to horses left homeless by the fire, and to schedule trailer loading clinics so that owners are better prepared for disasters like this in the future. FRER has partnered with Rockin' B Feed in the Black Forest to offer starter kits—which include basic supplies for grooming, health care, and clean up—to horse owners who have full or partial losses.
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