The latest figures from national pet charity Blue Cross indicate that an increased number of horse carers may be struggling financially to keep their horse.
So far this year, the charity has received 144 requests from people asking for the charity to take in or help rehome their horse or pony and more than 70 percent of these cited personal or financial circumstances as the reason.
In comparison, for the full year of 2021 just 43 (around 15 percent) of a total of 277 intake and rehoming requests specified financial reasons and in 2020 a total of 32 (nearly 14 percent) out of 231 requests stated financial reasons.
The Blue Cross charity, which rehomes horses from its centres in Burford, Oxfordshire and Rolleston, Staffordshire as well as through its Home Direct scheme, is urging horse owners to get in touch if they are struggling, rather than let problems escalate to potentially cause health and welfare problems for their horses.
Annabelle Taylor, rehoming coordinator at Blue Cross, said: “It is distressing to see that the number of people seeking rehoming support because of financial reasons is already more than double last year’s annual total and we still have a third of the year to go.
“We are acutely aware that as the cost of living continues to increase, many people may be unavoidably presented with making difficult choices for their beloved horses.
“We encourage them approach us whilst their horses are still healthy rather than risk them being passed from pillar to post, potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation. We are here to listen and help, not to judge, and with Home Direct we a can help people as much as we are helping horses.”
Blue Cross Home Direct has proved to be highly effective, with over 150 horses helped since it was launched back in 2015. Every horse is assessed thoroughly by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then advertised on the charity’s website.
Once a potential new owner has been found Blue Cross will arrange and oversee initial visits. If it’s a good match, the horse will then be rehomed directly from the old home to the new one. All the home visits and checks will be completed as if the horse was from a Blue Cross centre.
Blue Cross also offers their Home Direct service to other equine welfare charities that don’t specialise in rehoming. Any horse can be considered for Home Direct, as long as they pass a health check and are not on any long-term medication.
2022 is the 125th anniversary of Blue Cross, originally “Our Dumb Friends League”. The charity formed to help vulnerable pets and their owners and we continue this work today across our rehoming, clinical, animal behaviour, pet bereavement support and educational work. They are striving to be able to help even more pets in the future live healthy lives in happy homes.
Blue Cross relies on the support and donations of pet lovers to continue our vital work, to find out more and make a donation visit their website.