California equine charities are among past winners and participants in ASPCA’s annual awareness event April 21-26.
The fifth annual ASPCA Help a Horse Day is set for Wed, April 26, with events taking place throughout the country from April 21-26. Organizations planning to celebrate with a Help a Horse Day event, meeting the ASPCA’s criteria and taking place within that timeframe, may be eligible to win one of 11 grant prizes totaling $100,000 for best celebration efforts to be used to support general operations.
San Diego’s Horses of Tir Na Nog staged an event last year that received one of these grants and founder Amy-Pat Rigney encourages all to get involved. “Whether groups are competing for the grant or not, this event was developed to help raise awareness of horses in need throughout communities in the U.S. The ASPCA will publish an online list of events on April 1 so you can see what is planned at local rescues and sanctuaries. Hopefully everyone will take the time to attend an event near them. Participating rescues will be dependent on our local community to help them win a grant.”
Tir Na Nog will once again host an open house for Help A Horse Day, on April 23 and 24. The theme is “Horses and Heroes, to celebrate first responders and public agencies that help horses year round in our County,” Amy-Pat explains.
“We kicked off our event by celebrating the ASPCA’s 150th Anniversary and reduced our adoption fees by $150 for the month of April,” explains AAE’s Tarah Tingle. “The result was a record breaking seven adoptions! We also rallied our troops for an outreach day on April 23, when our volunteers promoted ASPCA’s Help a Horse Day and AAE’s open barn: ‘Come to Their Rescue - 150 Ways to Help a Horse’.”
AAE’s 2016 open house featured adoptable horses with four local trainers giving eight arena and round pen training demonstrations, plus demonstrations by a veterinarian, farrier and bodyworker. It was a well-attended festive event with a country band, BBQ, a photo booth featuring AAE’s Mini horses, the Folsom Mounted Police, face painting, games, representation from several youth groups and more. “Between our outreach events and Sunday’s open barn, we added more than 1,100 people to our rosters from supporters, attendees and interested people,” Tarah says.
This year, Help A Horse Day activities center around All About Equine’s 4th annual Boots & Bling on April 22. Dinner, live and silent auctions, music and dancing are among the highlights.
The Agoura Animal Care Center is another of several California organizations taking part, in their case, for the third consecutive year, with two events: Help A Horse Day and the volunteer organized Cat Café. Both events will take place on Sunday, April 23 at the Center.
The Center welcomes the community for a fun-filled day for the whole family. Animal professionals will be in attendance including an equine veterinarian, a horse masseuse and a farrier, plus various resources for those interested in learning more. Agoura ACC will host several non-profit organizations that use horses in their programs to help special needs children and adults, along with opportunities to learn about the costs and care of owning a horse.
Guests will have an opportunity to meet with people who have rescued horses and to ask questions about the process. The non-profit groups Healthcare for Homeless Animals and Friends of Homeless Animals, which help care for the animals that come to the ACC, will also be in attendance.
Along with the annual ASPCA National Help a Horse Day event, this year Agoura ACC will be holding an event called Cat Café. Agoura ACC’s cat volunteers will host a crafts table for all ages. There will be a special section for local artists and craftsmen to sell their amazing work. Every guest will also have time to visit all the animals at the ACC.
The Agoura ACC has over 100 volunteers who donate their time to care for the animals that arrive to the ACC. These include dogs, cats, horses, goats, rabbits, llamas and pigs and the Center finds homes for almost every animal there.
Last year, several West Coast programs earned generous grants to help continue their good work. These included $25,000 Grand Prix Winner, Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary in Arizona; $10,000 winners All About Equine Animal Rescue in El Dorado Hills and California Coastal Horse Rescue in Oak View, CA; and $5,000 prize winners, HiCaliber Horse Rescue of Valley Center and Horses of Tir Na Nog in San Diego. The ASPCA’s Help A Horse Day webpages include tips on organizing and promoting a successful event.
For more information, visit www.aspcapro.org/aspca-help-horse-day.