Responding to the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey, equestrians have poured contributions into the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund, which is providing aid relief for horses in the Houston, Tx., area.
One week after the Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Texas, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund has raised over $400,000 in donations, grants, and pledges, with 100% of those funds slated to boost relief efforts by the Houston SPCA, Texas A&M University, the Texas Equine Veterinary Association (TEVA), and other equine rescue organizations.
In a sign of how rapidly and strongly equestrians mobilize to help each other, the fund received $50,000 within 24 hours of the USEF’s call for support on Aug. 28. The fund also has received a donation from US Equestrian partner Ariat for $10,000, as well as a pledge from the equine charity Brooke USA for a dollar-for-dollar match on the next $25,000 donated. The goal is to reach $200,000.
“The outpouring from the equine community has been unbelievable,” says Sarah Green, TEVA’s executive. “There has been immediate response from people across the country, even while the storm was still going on, to provide supplies. There is a long road ahead, but all of the support will make a huge difference.”
“USEF is overwhelmed by the response,” says USEF CEO Bill Moroney. “We are thankful for those who have stepped forward and not just given monetary donations, but also for those organizations and individuals who are in Houston and the surrounding areas, in the trenches, aiding one another and helping in the recovery. We are proud to be a small part of the relief efforts and could not have done even that without the support of those who are giving in so many ways.”
How You Can Help
Even after floodwaters recede, there will be a need for ongoing support and aid for horses in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Given how difficult it can be to ship items into devastated areas, aid organizations and officials prefer financial donations.
USEF has partnered with the following organizations in relief efforts:
- The American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation has launched a website that details a variety of ways to contribute, a list of needed supplies currently being collected in central Kentucky, and more details.
- In Texas, TEVA has established specific donation hubs around the state to collect donated feed, supplies, buckets, halters, shavings, etc. Click here to find your nearest hub. Individuals interested in volunteering a barn, stalls, or transportation services should contact [email protected].
- The Texas A&M University Veterinary Emergency Team ensures that animals affected by disasters like Hurricane Harvey have a chance at survival and veterinary care. They also are accepting donations.
Developed in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund helps ensure horses’ safety and well-being during trying times. Since its inception, the fund has received more than $500,000 in donations to aid horses across all breeds in disaster-related situations. All money donated to the fund goes directly to benefit horses and horse owners.
Photo credit: AAEP, Houston SPCA