Equine lovers of all ages received a thorough education about the care and raising of horses at Sunday’s Help a Horse Day on the grounds of the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter.
The event, sponsored by the Animal Guardians Horse Rescue (AGHR) in association with L.A. County Animal Care & Control, was organized to bring community awareness to the endeavors of the ASPCA to promote kindness to equines as well as responsible horse ownership, according to Angie Garfinkel, a shelter volunteer.
“Only two or three years ago, we’d take in maybe 20 horses a year,” said the longtime horse owner. “Now we get 200.” Garfinkel said that many people who adopt horses don’t realize what they’re getting into and end up neglecting or abandoning them.
“Horses nowadays can live up to 30 years,” she said. The cost of sheltering alone can be as much as $1200 a month and that does not include veterinary or dental care and shoeing, she said.
The AGHR is a non-profit rescue and educational organization with a home office in Simi Valley. Because they do not have their own ranch or boarding facility, they rely on foster caregivers, according to Deborah Dellbon, a volunteer with the program.
“We contract [with caregivers] for a minimum of three months, a maximum of 12 months,” she said. “Fosters are responsible for hay, feed the shavings they need, first aid and grooming.” The non-profit kicks in for all veterinary bills, body work and training, she said.
Not just anyone is a viable foster family, however. Many of the horses they receive are in bad shape, having been neglected or abused, and require someone with experience. “We need people who can take time to spend with the rescues to re-socialize to make them more adoptable,” said Dellbon.
For more information about the program or to donate, go to animalguardianshorserescuenetwork.webs.com/ or call 805-368-9123.