Horses4Homes has teamed up with the Irish Horse Rehoming Programme (IHRP) run by Carrie Keogh in an effort to help healthy horses who are sent to slaughter in Irish pounds find appropriate loving homes where they can live a life with dignity. Carrie, who previously worked for the Irish Horse Welfare Trust as their Chief Welfare Officer for many years, formally set up the organisation this year. Between January and August this year a total of 3933 horses were sent to these pounds in Ireland the majority of whom were put to sleep irrespective of their health status at huge expence to the public purse. The IHRP selects horses from these pounds which are healthy, sound and with a trainable attitude; horses with the greatest prospects of finding new homes. The horses chosen are then passported, microchipped, gelded and given a thorough health check. Once assessed as fit and well with a trainable attitude they are available for rehoming. The centre can only help 20 horses at a time so they need all the help they can get to find the right homes as soon as possible as time is running out for so many others.
Horses4Homes recognised the value of the work the Irish Horse Rehoming Programme was doing and offered its rehoming services free of charge. It was evident that genuine homes with owners who understand and appreciate the cost, care and commitment involved in horse ownership needed to be quickly found and verified thus enabling IHRP to help more healthly horses who are quite literally sitting on death row.
Carrie from the Irish Horse Rehoming Programme said “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Horses4Homes! They offer a professional, dedicated service and their mission and method are very much in line with what I am trying to create in The Irish Horse Rehoming Programme. Since I launched the IHRP this year, I have had a lot of enquiries from the UK but it was not feasible to do home visits which are a vital step in the rehoming process. It is very important to be absolutely sure that anyone offering a home to a rescued horse is totally committed or we would only be compounding the welfare problem and this is where Horses4Homes will be invaluable to IHRP! Most of the horses and ponies coming into the programme are unbroken and I am hopeful that many of the semi professional horse owners in the UK will come forward and offer homes to these youngsters! Irish horses, especially cobs and Connemara ponies have always been sought after in England and people would be surprised how many of these quality equines are being destroyed in Irish pounds every week! To me, as a horse lover, that is unacceptable and with the help of Horses4Homes I truly feel we can offer a lot of these horses and ponies a lifeline. ”
Chief Executive, Rebecca Evans said “Rehoming is a time consuming yet very important job, if you get it wrong it can have devastating consequences for the horse. Working in partnership is so important and it enables us to work to our strengths for the betterment of horse welfare. It is entirely sensible to offer the services of Horses4Homes, whose sole purpose is to facilitate responsible rehoming in a safe and effective manner thus leaving the IHRP more resources to focus on the horses themselves. We have always been very willing to work with any organisation with a responsible attitude towards rehoming so as to help empty the stables so to speak as the greater number of horses found loving, appropriate homes quickly the greater number can be saved.”
Horses4Homes has been very successful with its rehoming scheme with over 230 horses finding new homes through the charity already this year. Their site now receives over 50k visitors each month so is confident it has the infrastructure to help the horses in Ireland. Furthermore it has the help of charities including the British Horse Society, Redwings, RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, the Mare and Foal Sanctuary and Horseworld, all of whom are members of NEWC and facilitate home checks on behalf of the charity. “The support these organisations provide in terms of home checks is invaluable and working together like this to help rehome horses is testament to each organisations’ commitment to improving horse welfare through responsible rehoming” Rebecca Evans CEO Horses4Homes.