For Hometown News
PALM CITY -- The phone calls keep coming in to Randy Kinder, President of the Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation from horse owners who can no longer care for their horses and need to surrender them.
"It's a terrible situation when horses become neglected and the thought that we will have to turn away any new requests is dreadful," Mr. Kinder said.
ERAF just received notice from the landowner, the Pegasus Foundation, that ERAF must vacate their current location in Palm City by April 30.
"We are very appreciative that the Pegasus Foundation has allowed us to remain at this location since 2006 and it is heartbreaking for everyone involved that the land will be sold," said Marilynn Vannucci, board member. ERAF was notified in April, 2013 that they would need to find a new location by November 2014.
ERAF is in a very distressful position trying to locate a replacement property. They must quickly locate land, hopefully with an adequate barn, as a new home for their horses and community activities.
ERAF was recently very excited and optimistic when it thought it had found its new permanent home. It made an offer but unfortunately was not able to come to terms with the owners.
"We had great anticipation that the property was going to be our new home and now we must continue the search again with such a short time remaining," said Ms. Vannucci.
ERAF, the nonprofit organization, is the only shelter in the immediate south Florida area that can offer care and shelter to horses abused by neglect, and irresponsible breeding and feeding. When the Martin County Sheriff's Office deputies find abused horses, they call upon ERAF. One such memorable event occurred May 2013, as Martin County Sheriff's Office contacted ERAF and seven horses and four donkeys were surrendered all at one time. The population at the barn was doubled in one day.
As recently as December 2013, the Martin County Sheriff's Office turned over two more horses to ERAF, a 19-year old Arabian stallion and a 19-year old Arabian mare. Very sadly, the Arabian mare had to be euthanized. Her condition was so extremely poor and deteriorated that she couldn't walk or eat and there was no expectation or prospect for rehabilitation. The Arabian stallion had severe rain rot, weight loss and is a choker. All food must be soaked and he cannot eat hay. He is now being given special care at the ERAF stables and is progressing.
All the expenses of caring for these abused horses are the responsibility of ERAF. The veterinary care, farrier, equine dentist, medications, feed, hay, stall bedding, grooming, rehabilitation and re-training are expenses ERAF is able to pay largely through funding received from donations. ERAF receives no government assistance and is dependent upon grants and private donations.
"We have to look at any other options now and the clock is ticking," Mr. Kinder said. "We need to find property to purchase and/or purchase with a portion being donated. Another temporary option would be a property owner that will let us use their land and/or rent a barn and pastures until we can find our permanent home."
For further information about ERAF and how you can help them, visit www.eraf.org and contact either board president Randy Kinder at (561) 358-0625 or board member Marilynn Vannucci at (772) 287-0600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.