NEW YORK, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today revealed the twelve winners in its fourth annual ASPCA Help a Horse Day celebration contest. In a special video message, celebrity animal advocates Beth Behrs and Huw Collins commended participating equine rescues and sanctuaries for their year-round lifesaving work caring for at-risk horses who've been abused, neglected or are in need of a home.
The grand prize winner, TheraPony of Ramona, Calf., received a $25,000 grant, and ten runners-up were awarded grants of $10,000 or $5,000 to support their ongoing efforts to protect horses. Additionally, Days End Farm Horse Rescue Inc. of Woodbine, Md. was also selected to receive a $5,000 grant to recognize its innovative use of social media to increase awareness about equine adoption.
Winning groups include:
$25,000 Grand Prize Winner:
- TheraPony, Ramona, Calf.
$10,000 Prize Winners:
- Equine Wellbeing Rescue, Inc., Snowflake, Ariz.
- Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Owings, Md.
- Rancho Tierra Madre Corp, Cave Creek, Ariz.
- RVR Horse Rescue, Riverview, Fla.
- The Pegasus Project, Murchison, TX
$5,000 Prize Winners:
- Days End Farm Horse Rescue Inc., Woodbine, Md.
- Drifters Hearts of Hope, Franktown, Colo.
- Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, McCoy, Colo.
- Phoenix Rising Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation, Clarence, N.Y.
- Save A Forgotten Equine, Woodinville, Wash.
- Serenity Farm Equine Sanctuary, Louisa, Va.
"Each year we are proud to recognize the commitment and creativity of equine rescues across the country through the ASPCA Help a Horse Day national competition," said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. "ASPCA Help a Horse Day illustrates how much can be accomplished when communities and advocates come together to make the most of their ideas, efforts, and resources. I congratulate this year's winners and thank everyone involved in the lifesaving work of caring for horses who've been abused and neglected."
More than 20,000 community members came out to support the 173 groups holding celebrations across 38 states in April, and winners were selected based on the creativity of their events, as well as their success engaging their local communities. This year's events included open houses, education and volunteer programs, free gelding clinics, scavenger hunts and Facebook Live segments to promote equine adoption. Participating groups raised a combined total of more than $1 million in cash and other resources to help at-risk horses.
ASPCA Help a Horse Day is celebrated annually on April 26 – a date chosen for its significance to the ASPCA's long history of horse protection. In 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment on April 26 of that year. The protection of horses has been a core part of the ASPCA mission ever since, which includes supporting equine welfare legislation, advocacy, rescue and targeted grants.
"Though ASPCA Help a Horse Day is celebrated on April 26, we are thrilled to see that many participating organizations used this opportunity to engage their local communities throughout the entire month of April, maximizing exposure for the horses in their care who are available for adoption," said B.J. Rogers, vice president of ASPCA ProLearning. "The ASPCA is honored to award these grants to these equine groups who are working on the frontlines to help support our shared mission to provide vital care to horses in need."
Last year, the ASPCA Equine Fund awarded over $1 million in grants to support 171 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grant money supported several areas of equine welfare including large-scale rehabilitation, emergency relief grants, safety net programs, and the Rescuing Racers Initiative, which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter.
For more information about ASPCA Help a Horse Day, please visit www.aspca.org/helpahorse.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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