Day At The Track

Surprising Updates on Covid-SRF

12:00 AM 29 May 2020 NZST
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The crown of kindness continues to go to the caring individuals who stand behind the loving mission at the Standardbred Retirement Foundation,(SRF), particularly during the cancellation of fundraisers due to Covid. The combination of the general horse loving public and individuals in harness racing who love these horses and step up is what is keeping them fed, cared for, and managed.
Shockingly, after searching for assistance from other sources the Humane Society of the US, (HSUS) showed no funds available. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), allocated 15% of their $313 million in assets to help charities but, after waiting for a response for 6 weeks, it declined. The ASPCA Right Horse Initiative Program does not support horses tagged for slaughter or sanctuary horses.
When Standardbred Transition Alliance, (STA) was asked for help, it declined. It suggested that SRF operate under the same Right Initiative Program, the program that does not help horses tagged for slaughter or sanctuary horses. Most of the trotters and pacers under SRF's care were tagged to ship for slaughter.
Support did come from the Equus Foundation. SRF has been an accredited Guardian since inception of that program. Guardians demonstrate a commitment to public transparency by their willingness to make comprehensive data about their programs, horse care practices, and governance available for public scrutiny.
The donation of feed for the SRF horses boarded in Virginia during the first month of the pandemic was gratefully received. Enough hay was donated for about 75 horses for a day, and grain for 50 for a week for the NJ horses. Numerous foster homes stepped up, transportation reductions were received, and Veterinary care was gifted for the NJ horses. Most of the boarding facilities SRF uses for its horses reduced their fees. These gifts and that of those who made donations in every amount is what is keeping the horses safe and cared for right now.
SRF is astounded that help is so limited and not available for the horses with the greatest needs. Swinging Glory who earned $817,000.00, Upfront Hoosier Boy, Sleep Easy, Oil Magnet, Killean Cut Kid, and more than 100 other big earners would have shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter had SRF not stepped in. Numerous other Standardbreds at such risk were re-united with past owners, trainers, even grooms and breeders through the help of the Foundation. The horses tagged for slaughter are the heart-wrenching cases that need the most help.
SRF continues to aid trotters and pacers tagged for slaughter. Its assistance is limited right now. It is only able to help when funds are specifically directed for them, when a home is offered directly from the kill pen, or another organization with a closely aligned mission to the SRF is able to assist.
This 30 year old non-profit still faces managing without its social fundraisers. The number of horses under SRF's care and expense is more manageable, down from 403 to 343.
It moved 60 horses into adopted homes, and foster homes from many of the facilities it uses, but the leased farm where training and most adoptions occur from remains closed, making adoptions difficult.
In July, SRF will be in need of assistance unless there are new funds available and new fundraising opportunities. It welcomes suggestions by way of SRF is very appreciative of the support it has received for 30 years and particularly while struggling with this pandemic.
Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides humane care and services for horses in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis, through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow-up or life-time sanctuary, and offers therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.
SRF is a 30 year old registered non-profit organization, donations are tax-deductible.
Tammy Cailliau
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