Monday, October 12, 2009

Saved by Mylestone!

I've been a supporter of Mylestone Equine Rescue for several years, ever since a friend introduced me to their program via a benefit wine-tasting. I went for the wine. I stayed for the wonderful job founder Susankelly Thompson and her group do for the horses.

Mylestone is housed on a farm in Warren County, NJ. I was amazed to see how efficiently MER has used the land. Each horse has ample space to move around outdoors, either a shed with easy access for cover and shade at the animal's whim or a stall in the clean, airy barn, and lots of attention from staff. Privately-kept horses should have it so good!

What makes Mylestone special (apart from the obvious and intense dedication of the staff of volunteers who care for and work with the horses) is that every effort is made to rehome the animals that are capable of moving on to a forever home. But those that cannot go on are guaranteed a permanent home at MER with continued care until their time on the planet is over. That means a lot.

I won't belabor the details of the functioning of the group. Everything you might want to know is on their website. What I will add in an attempt to drive home the need is that these horses, many of which came from private owners who could no longer cope with horses in their lives for whatever reason, are all needy. They have been ill, abused, neglected, and left to suffer, though not always by the owners who sent them to MER. Though veterinary and other professional care is generally donated, the medications are not. Nor is their feed. Several are on special diets and endless doses of supportive meds to make their lives the best they can be for however long they last.

The need for volunteers and donated feed, equipment, and cash, cash, CASH is pretty much endless. As horses leave MER for new homes or for their final resting places, new ones arrive, each with its own problems and issues.

Visit the website, check the wish list. If there's something you can donate, do so. Visits are not arranged or encouraged on weekdays--the place is buzzing and volunteers are fewer during those times--but if you want to see what's going on before you send a donation, ask for an appointment and visit on a weekend. You will be as pleasantly surprised as I was, I'm sure.

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