A message from President/Founder Susan Wagner on our 27th birthday. Equine Advocates was founded on February 27th, 1996.
Has it really been 27 years?
Having founded Equine Advocates and running it for all these years has been a way of life rather than just a job for me. It’s the existence I live every day and even with its share of ups and downs, it has been a joy and the most important decision I ever made.
For those who may not be familiar with how and why Equine Advocates was founded, it all goes back to 1993 when I rescued my first horse, Gandalf, from slaughter. That life-altering experience made me want to do something to end and expose horse slaughter and save as many horses as I could from that cruel and unspeakable fate. I decided to use the background I had acquired working in the horse industry toward that higher calling – And so on this day in 1996, Equine Advocates was born.
I have two major birthday wishes. The first involves “The Big Picture” and would affect all of America’s wild and domestic equines. The second is a special wish that would allow Equine Advocates to grow and help more horses.
First Major Birthday Wish: It was my intention right from the start to use the stories of the equines we rescued to help educate the public about horse slaughter and other cruel practices affecting them, and how every aspect of the horse industry led to the slaughter pipeline. The fact is since the last horse slaughterhouse closed its doors in 2007, the failure of Congress to pass federal legislation banning the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for food, and the export of live equines across our borders into Mexico and Canada for that purpose, has brought us to the very dangerous situation we find ourselves in today. A major movement by livestock interests in this country to return horse slaughter to U.S. soil has resulted in the proposal of hostile amendments to the current Farm Bill that would transfer meat inspection (including horse meat) over to the individual states rather than by the federal government as has always been the case. Right now, the slaughter of horses in the U.S. has been prevented through the defunding of federal horse meat inspectors. But if meat inspection is turned over to the states, all of that will change and horses will be slaughtered in huge numbers once again.
We all need to push for federal legislation banning the slaughter and export of horses for consumption.
Second Major Birthday Wish: We really would like to grow this organization so we can rescue more horses and institute new programs aimed at their care and protection. A fabulous piece of completely flat farmland that directly attaches to our horse sanctuary is now on the market. The acquisition of that property would allow us to build an indoor arena with connecting stalls and paddocks for special programs and necessary rehab work, in addition to more barns and fencing to rescue and house more horses. This land would enable us to add these new and vitally important elements to our operation that we do not have room for now. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this organization.
In our effort to purchase the property, we are more than a third of the way there financially but need immediate involvement from those in a position to significantly help this all-important dream to come true.
Those are our big birthday wishes, but we have many smaller ones as well, in addition to goals and plans for the future.
Your support of this organization has been an inspiration and has kept us going for all these years. We always say that no contribution is too small and we sincerely mean it.
On behalf of our entire board and staff, we thank all of our supporters for allowing us to save and help horses over these past 27 years… And we have no intention of stopping!
With gratitude, Susan Wagner