September 24, 2008 KVOA News 4, Tucson
The economy is hitting horse owners hard in Southern Arizona. Due to the rising cost of hay, some can no longer afford to feed their horses.
Animal rescue groups are reporting an increase in “abandoned” and “starving” horses.
Karen Pomroy runs Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary in Amado, Az. She paid $145 for a ton of hay three years ago, right now she pays $300 a ton. The price doubling in just three years leaves owners with tough choices.
Hay Suppliers like Dean Moreno say farmers faced with rising transportation, labor and supply costs will continue to drive the price of hay sky ward.
“The fertilizer prices for farmers have tripled. In Blythe a farmer can make more money selling his water rights to Los Angeles than he can growing hay,” says Moreno.
“Sometimes they can’t find anyone to take [the horses] because it costs so much to feed them. It’s just really, really ridiculous. I hate to say it but come January some people might not get any hay,” says Moreno.
Pomroy says she sees starving and abandoned horses come through her sanctuary on a regular basis. “Because if they can’t find homes for the horses they end up in slaughter, because it’s legal to do that.”
To help raise money to feed her rescued horses Pomroy enacted the Ten Dollars a Month Club. “And all that money will go to our hay bill,” says Pomroy.