Abandoned horse charity, Holly’s Horse Haven in Omeath, say they delighted with the extra allocation for animal charities in the recent Budget.
“We are of course delighted that the Government are committing to addressing the equine difficulties in the country and any form of extra support to charities and rescues who are giving their time and support voluntarily will be really gratefully appreciated,” said Elaine Duffy of Holly’s Horse Haven.
She said she “sincerely hoped that some of this extra government funding will go towards a central crisis information agency that is there to guide and support the public at ground level” when they find themselves in the extremely difficult position of dealing with “an abandoned, hurt and terrified animal”.
“Our charity’s current experience is that the public (on both sides of the border) are totally confused regarding the procedure to follow when they either find an abandoned equine or have an animal dumped on their land,” she said.
“This is also the problem we find with our charity’s outreach network in Dublin. We have a group of very loyal public supporters who work closely with horse lovers and other rescuers in this area to ensure that any horses, ponies or donkeys who are in distress or abandoned are attended by the local Department of Agriculture or authorities.
“Our charity has had a good relationship with the Travelling Community, meeting with and speaking to authoritative figures in the community for a number of years now and we are fully aware that the majority of Travellers really care about their horses and ponies.
“They have told us they would love to have available livery facilities for their animals but are not permitted to put up any kind of stable structures on council land,” said Ms Duffy, adding that members of the Travelling Community said they would “gladly geld and passport their horses if it was more affordable in the area.”
“Our charity are delighted to see an extra €1m to support the development of new facilities to provide shelter for the urban horse population across the country. It is a really good start and will hopefully save the Government substantial costs given it will hopefully decrease the need for councils and pounds to deal with so many abandoned animals.”
Ms Duffy however said: “We need some of this extra funding going towards the justice system” to ensure that those found guilty of neglecting animals are hit with “much larger fines and guaranteed sentences served on them”.
“The cruelty our charity has seen at the hands of these individuals is beyond belief and a no tolerance approach by the justice system would serve as a clear message to the younger generation coming behind who think these monsters are beyond the legal system,” pointed out Ms Duffy.
“Our social programme through direct intervention, education, community outreach, the raising of awareness and hands-on care encourages individuals to develop and grow as a person whilst empowering them with the knowledge that they are “making a difference”, to both their own lives and the lives of our rescues.
“Through our Holly’s Social Haven we are also delighted to be supporting health care organisations across the community whose main aim is (through person centred planing) to continually work towards improving the personal needs and desires of those individuals in our communities who have special needs.
“Recently “Holly’s Social Haven” received National Lottery/HSE funding to facilitate our summer camp for special needs adult and children’s groups, learning about caring and loving our rescues and, with support from UNITE, for our disadvantaged kids and local school children to also come along to afternoon camp.
“They all had an amazing time learning about caring for our rescues plus helping us out with our organic horticulture programmes (to grow herbs for our alternative Holly Horse remedies) helping care for our disability sensory garden, and enjoying our back to nature experience.
“Our charity endeavours to care for our rescues to the best of our ability and we invite others to experience the joy, satisfaction and sense of fulfilment we get from our equines on a daily basis. We believe everyone benefits in this situation!
“We appreciate any support our charity receives and if you feel you can help us in any way with a fund-raising event in your own area we will be very grateful, or visit our web site for event ideas at www.hollyshorsehaven.com, and for fund-raising enquires please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fostering/adoption email: email@example.com,” she said.
“Our next local fund raising event is a quiz night at the The Malt House Pub and Restaurant, Dublin Rd, Dundalk. Finger food has been kindly donated by the owners and there will also be a fantastic raffle on 14th November at 8.30pm. All support will be really appreciated.”