How to help our local sheltered and rescued four-legged friends during the COVID-19
Let's Help Out & All Come Together (Virtually) During These Hard Times
Many of us are not only worried about each other during this crazy time in history, but we are worried about all the animals that are in shelters or rescue situations where their care-takers may not be as available as they are in ‘normal’ times. It is getting increasingly difficult for volunteers to get to shelters and rescues where they are counted on for the tireless hours they put in to help with everyday tasks that keep these animals feed, healthy and loved.
This is a huge concern, so we asked a few shelters and rescues that we work with what would be the most helpful to them during the pandemic and they gave us a few suggestions:
- We know most people are worried about their finances, especially in such an uncertain time. However, if you have the means, monetary donations are much needed right now, as always. It takes revenue to run rescues and shelters and most rely on the kindness of others for their survival. Many need income to pay vet bills and for general up-keep to provide food and shelter. Even if you don’t think a little goes a long way, it does! Even if you can spare a small donation, some are better than none. Your dollars make a difference!
- If you are able, please donate food! Food is always needed at shelters and at rescues. Dog, cat and rabbit food for shelters are much welcomed. For horse (or other barn types) rescues, grain and hay are wonderful as well as horse feed…and if there is a spare bag of dry cat food, barn cats usually reside along-side our larger four-legged friends and is most often needed.
- Old towels, blankets, sheets (cozy things) are essential as well. A good friend of Mane ‘n Tail’s collects all kinds of ‘comfort’ items (toys included) and then even washes them before dropping off at the shelter she volunteers with. During the pandemic, it is helpful if you wash and sanitize any items you wish to donate. Horse-blankets definitely should be laundered before bringing to a barn situation. It is very important because as we have learned, this virus is insidious and can live on material for some time. You would never want to endanger any volunteers or those working at the shelters or rescues. As we don’t really know everything about the COVID-19, it hasn’t been completely proven that humans can spread it to animals. Let’s be smart and safe.
- For smaller animal rescues or shelters, adopt or foster if you have the means to be a responsible caretaker! If you are home for an extended period of time, this is the perfect opportunity to welcome a new four-legged family member to your world or give them a temporary situation until they find their ‘furever’ home. This helps out at shelters and rescues so much and is the goal for many of the 365 days of the year…and now, during the pandemic is truly a blessing.
- The other item needed…your TIME! This should happen only when things get back to ‘normal’ again and the ‘stay at home’ and ‘shelter in place’ have been safely suspended. Think about donating your time, if possible, to help after we come out of this ‘state of emergency’. Your time and help are always needed as a volunteer. Many rescues and shelters will need volunteers more than ever coming out of this crisis. When you donate your time, you are a special kind of hero to those who don’t have a voice but ‘thank you’ with a look, a nuzzle, a cuddle or a bark, meow/purr or neigh/whinny.
Some notable organizations are doing during the COVID-19 isolation period:
An organization that, here at Mane ‘n Tail, we work with closely is the EQUUS Foundation. It's the only national animal welfare charity in the United States that is 100% dedicated to horse welfare. At the core of their mission is their commitment to invest in equine charities across the nation that are dedicated to saving and re-homing America's at-risk horses and providing opportunities for people to partner with horses to improve their physical, emotional, and social well-being.
USEF for Equus Foundation
Most of these charities have had to close their doors to their volunteers and cancel much-needed fundraising events and programs -- the lifeblood to sustain their operations. But, their horses still need to be fed and cared for. All financial support provided to equine charities is used to underwrite direct horse care costs – which is exactly what these charities need right now to help get them through this crisis.
Only equine charities that are dedicated to the highest standards of horse care receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation to ensure that funding is used for programs with the greatest impact. Donations to the EQUUS Foundation to help guarantee that these horses will be safe and healthy! Click here for more information on how you are able to help
Photo Credit: N.E.I.G.H
A Mane ‘n Tail friend, ambassador and founder of the N.E.I.G.H. program, Dawn Samuleson is doing her best to keep the support going for our equine buddies.
N.E.I.G.H. (National Equine Institute of Growth Through Healing) is based on a farm in Gerry, NY (but the program is expanding) and offers Equine Assisted Therapy through our Therapeutic Riding Program and provides workshops that allow humans to interact and connect with horses and each other in a non-threatening, non-judgmental atmosphere. Through these interactions, emotional and behavioral tendencies are uncovered and encountered under supervision of a certified instructor. It is a wonderful organization, but it is donation driven and Dawn and her crew are doing their best to keep things as normal now for the horses (many of them rescues) while their interaction with people is limited during the ‘sheltering in place’ time of COVID-19. “Donations are always welcome, as well as grain, feed and hay,” says Ms. Samuleson. “We just want to make sure all the needs of our horses are met, so that they can work again seamlessly with those in the program that need their connection more than ever when we come out of this.” For more information, click here.
Photo Credits: N.E.I.G.H
Right in our own backyard…not far from our Mane ‘n Tail corporate headquarters is another incredible equine-related organization, Equi-librium. They have shut their facility down for the public, here in PA until we are ‘out of the woods’. However, they are still caring for their horses and other animals at the facility. If you would like to help by ‘adopting a horse’—not taking them home with you, but being responsible for their care and feeding, Equi-librium has a complete list of how you can generously make this happen: https://www.equi-librium.org
How cool is that to ‘adopt a horse’ virtually! The folks at Equi-librium would be thrilled.
Photo Credits: Equi-librium
The Human Society
The Human Society is trying to keep things as normal as possible during these uncertain times and helping by “assembling a ‘toolkit for animal shelters’ to help them respond to the needs of the communities that they serve and are in close contact with our Shelter and Rescue Partners to share information. For more information, click here.
The ASPCA is launching a relief fund to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to “ To assist pet owners and animal welfare organizations affected by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the ASPCA is launching the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative…a multipronged strategic relief to the crisis.” For more information, click here.
There are SO many organizations national and local that are committed to helping raise the bar on the care and welfare of animals. If you have a favorite local organization that you would like to concentrate on, please do. If you have national organization that you contribute to, please try to continue to do so, even though times may be rough.
If you have your own animals to worry about and taking care of them is all you are able to do right now…know that this is enough and always commendable!
Most of all we hope everyone out there stays safe, healthy and happy! We are all stewards of our four-legged friends in one way or another and we need to be around to keep the cycle of life going and to take care of them as well. Wishing everyone to stay well, from your Mane ‘n Tail family.