Category Archives: News

The latest news on rescue efforts and the organization.

Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition

Coalition Issues Statement re Nobles County Horse Neglect Case

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition issued a statement today regarding the criminal complaint filed in Nobles County against a horse owner who is alleged to have neglected her horses, resulting in the death of 15 horses.

The criminal complaint alleges 20 counts of animal cruelty — 11 felonies and 8 misdemeanors. Copies of the complaint can be obtained by calling the Nobles County Attorney’s office.

Read our statement here: Statement re 15 Dead Horses in Nobles County Criminal Case April 4, 2014:

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Minnesota Hay Bank Distributes $8,000 to Minnesota Rescues

December 26, 2013. — Golden Valley, MN. The Minnesota Hay Bank announced today that it has distributed at total of $8,000 to Minnesota horse rescues in December. The rescues receiving assistance are Sundown Horse Shelter (Hugo), Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (Zimmerman) and TruHaven Ranch (Winsted).

Many of the horses being helped by this assistance are from the Fillmore County humane case, which occurred over a year ago. In that case, over 55 horses were seized, numerous horses were found dead on the property and several horses had to be humanely euthanized. (Read December 18, 2012 article here.) The horse owner has pled guilty to two misdemeanor counts (Chapter 35.82.2(a) Animal Health, gross misdemeanor – improper disposal of animal carcasses; and Chapter 343.21.2 – Mistreatment of Animals, misdemeanor – deprive of food/shelter), and will be sentenced on January 21, 2014. (See updated photos of some of these equines below.)

“These horse rescues are a lifeline to neglected and abused horses, and the Minnesota Hay Bank is pleased to support the important work they do every day. They will continue to need support throughout the winter, and the Minnesota Hay Bank will continue to help all it can as our funds allow,” said Stacy Bettison, spokesperson for the hay bank.

Several of the Fillmore County horses are featured here. After proper care, adequate nutrition and lots of TLC at TruHaven Ranch, they are doing very well:

Lester, a bay pony mule, is now very kind and gentle. He has big hopes of going to the 2014 Trainer's Challenge.

Lester, a bay pony mule, is now very kind and gentle. He has big hopes of going to the 2014 Trainer’s Challenge. (Photo provided by TruHaven Ranch.)

Serena, 4 years old, is a driving pony and very full of herself.

Serena, 4 years old, is a driving pony and very full of herself. (Photo provided by TruHaven Ranch.)

Fancy, now halter broke and ready to start training, is 4 years old. (Photo provided b TruHaven Ranch.)

Fancy, now halter broke and ready to start training, is 4 years old. (Photo provided by TruHaven Ranch.)

Trixie is 12 years old and rides quite well. She is blind in the left eye, as a result of her time in Fillmore County, and she is still touchy on that side.

Trixie is 12 years old and rides quite well. She is blind in the left eye, as a result of her time in Fillmore County, and she is still touchy on that side. (Photo provided by TruHaven Ranch.)

 

 

2013 Year in Review

The support our community has provided the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition in 2013 has been incredible. Working together we have improved the welfare of horses in Minnesota.

As the year draws to a close, we look back at what we have accomplished working together. We also ask you to consider including the Minnesota Hay Bank in your year-end charitable giving. After all, this is the perfect time to give the gift of food to horses.

We start with the biggest accomplishment of all, however, which is helping horses receive adequate feed. The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition’s Hay Bank provided significant feed assistance funds to Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation, who has been taking very good care of “Edison” since his seizure from a Fillmore County horse owner.

This horse was one among 55 that were seized from a Fillmore County horse owner. MNHARF took this horse in and provided outstanding care. The Minnesota Hay Bank provided feed assistance to MNHARF for this and other Fillmore horses.

This horse was one among 55 that were seized from a Fillmore County horse owner. MNHARF took this horse in and provided outstanding care. The Minnesota Hay Bank provides regular feed assistance to MNHARF and did so for this and the other neglected Fillmore horses.

See other horses we’ve helped here.

It’s been a busy year of other big accomplishments:

Castration Clinic: The Coalition hosted its 5th Annual Castration Clinic in the spring, bringing total castrations in the past five years to 106 stallions.

  • We provided valuable field-experience and training 111 vet students and 30 veterinary tech students.
  • We saved financially strapped MN stallion owners over $26,500 in castration fees.
  • Most importantly, we eliminated 2,650 potential foals.

Minnesota Hay Bank: Launched one year ago on December 18, 2012, the Hay Bank has been a tremendous success:

  • Distributed approximately $20,000 in feed assistance.
  • Your donations help the Hay Bank provide direct support to several Minnesota horse rescues.
  • We have refined our application and include an introduction letter to all applicants.
  • We’ve purchased two semi-loads of hay (valued at $10,000) to stockpile for winter to help in emergency situations this winter. Canterbury has offered important in-kind support to help store this hay. These purchases will feed 100 horses for 80 days.
  • Because of our success, we have received phone calls from California, Idaho, New York and South Dakota seeking help to start hay banks in their states.

Advocacy: Serving as advocates for horses is a critical component of our work.

  • The Coalition was the recipient of a $15,000 grant by the ASPCA to help provide critical care for the state’s largest humane case arising from Fillmore County.
  • We carefully monitor criminal complaints brought against horse owners.
  • We provide support to sheriffs and county attorneys.
  • A William Mitchell law student provided to us from the Minnesota Justice Foundation is conducting legal research of animal welfare laws and analyzing criminal cases so we achieve stronger, more consistent prosecution for crimes against horses.
  • Coalition members were invited to present “Resources and Support for Effective Enforcement of Horse Cruelty and Neglect Statutes” at the Minnesota Sheriffs Associations Annual Conference.

We are grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of horses, and we are equally grateful for all your support. Please consider the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition’s Hay Bank in your year-end charitable giving.

Working together, we continue to advance the welfare of horses.

Very truly yours,

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition

Minnesota Hay Bank — Fundraising Tee!! (12.11.13)

http://teespring.com/minnesotahaybankMinn. Hay Bank Teespring shirt

The Minnesota Hay Bank is working hard to ensure horses in need have adequate hay this winter. Here’s your chance to support our hay bank with a high-quality, long-sleeve tee: it features the beautiful Minnesota Hay Bank logo on the front and “Helping horses. One bale at a time” on the back. Each purchase will feed one horse for 2 days! We need at least 50 orders to achieve our campaign goal.

On behalf of horses, thank you!!

 

 

News Release: Canterbury Park and Minnesota Hay Bank Team Up to Address Hay Shortage (12.03.13)

MNHWC-hay-email-logo

Contact:

Stacy L. Bettison

612-807-6337

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canterbury Park and Minnesota Hay Bank Team Up to Address Hay Shortage

Golden Valley, MN – December 2, 2013. The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MNHWC) and Canterbury Park have joined forces to address the hay shortage in Minnesota. The Minnesota Hay Bank has purchased a semi-load of horse-quality hay and Canterbury Park will store it for the winter.

“This is the first time Minnesota has stockpiled hay in an attempt to deal with the hay shortage, and we are now better prepared to address emergency horse needs this winter,” said hay bank co-founder Stacy Bettison. “Purchasing large quantities of hay, finding storage and keeping it secure are enormous undertakings that require money, facilities and equipment. Teaming up with Canterbury Park has made this possible. This is the perfect example of people working together to help horses.”

20 tons of hay has been shipped to Shakopee, Minnesota, and Canterbury Park will provide storage and security until it is dispersed later this winter. The next step for the Minnesota Hay Bank is to raise money to pay for the purchase, which was made with a loan.

Bettison added: “The fate of many horses this winter is not one of chance, but one of choice.  Whether it be calling local law enforcement to report a concern about the welfare of certain horses in your community or making a donation to The Minnesota Hay Bank or reputable horse rescue, the fate of horses rests in the choices people make to help them. Outside all winter, behind fences in the snow, cold and wind, horses are 100% dependent on humans to care for them. As the temperature drops, horses need even more help.”

People may make donations at www.minnesotahaybank.org.

About the MNHWC

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition is a group of organizations, attorneys, horse rescues, humane agents and individuals working to prevent equine neglect, abandonment and abuse. The Coalition’s work is focused on helping people needing assistance to provide for their equines and to save equines from neglect and abuse through direct support, foster care, emergency assistance and public education. The Coalition is comprised of teams dedicated to solving different aspects of the problem, including hay and feed assistance, temporary foster care, veterinary assistance, castration and euthanasia.

About Canterbury Park and Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund

Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino is Minnesota’s premier entertainment destination. Located in Shakopee, Minnesota, just 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis & St. Paul, Canterbury Park is home to Live Racing, Simulcast Racing and a 24/7 Card Casino featuring Texas Hold’em, Blackjack and more.

The Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund (CPMF) originated in 2003 to unite Canterbury Park, our employees, horsemen and vendors in a common goal to provide assistance for charities benefiting equine organizations, responsible gaming programs and local causes.  The CPMF has grown into a successful grant program, awarding more than $750,000 in grants to Minnesota organizations since its inception.

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Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition Issues Statement re Prison Sentencing in Otter Tail County Criminal Horse Neglect Case (8.29.13)

Today the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition issued the following the following statement regarding the sentence of jail time for a defendant in Vergas, Minnesota (Otter Tail County) charged with criminal horse neglect:

On August 28, 2013, Otter Tail District Court Judge Waldemar B. Senyk sentenced one of the defendants in the Vergas, Minnesota criminal horse neglect case to one (1) year in prison.  The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition applauds both Judge’s Senky’s vigorous sentencing in this case and Otter Tail County Attorney David Hauser and his office for pressing charges in the first instance.

Too many times humans inflict the unthinkable on horses — they hoard, they neglect, for years on end, without repercussion, without remorse, without apology. This case, like so many others, exemplifies the inexcusable failures on the part of certain horse owners to provide for their horses most basic needs.

We hope that the sentencing and disposition of this one defendant in Otter Tail County serves as a guide for responsible horse owners and others in law enforcement, who shoulder so much of the responsibility for ensuring that justice is served for horses and individuals are held accountable for repeated practices of animal neglect and abuse.

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The Statement is available in PDF at this link: MNHWC Statement re Otter Tail County Crim Case August 29, 2013

Minnesota Hay Bank Receives Grant from Canterbury Park (5.8.13)

Golden Valley, MN – May 8, 2013. The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MNHWC) today announced the Minnesota Hay Bank has received a grant from the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund. The grant comes at a critical time – hay prices in 2013 continue at historically high levels and are well above the average of the past decade.

The Minnesota Hay Bank was awarded the grant by the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund at a time when financial and in-kind donations are more needed than ever. Data compiled by the University of Minnesota show that in April 2013 horse-quality hay (RFV 101-125) averaged almost $260/ton, which was 50% higher than last April. The average price for this hay quality from 2001-2006 was under $80/ton. These prices, coupled with a longer-than-anticipated winter in Minnesota, has put added pressure on horse owners everywhere, but especially those already struggling to feed their horses.

“This grant comes at the perfect time—we are grateful to Canterbury Park leadership for recognizing the need and being eager to help,” said Minnesota Hay Bank co-founder Stacy Bettison. “Feed assistance applications continue in earnest —the long winter delayed available pasture this spring, and horse owners who were struggling already because of high hay prices found themselves out of feed and out of money. These funds will go directly to horses who need hay now. ”

The grant will help defray the extra burden of high hay prices that are expected to continue throughout 2013.  “The current prices could be the ‘new normal’ for hay prices going forward,” said Krishona Martinson, PhD, Equine Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota and MNHWC member. “Some areas of the state are still experiencing drought. We are finding that many hay fields throughout the state have some winter injury and many farmers are planning to plant less acres of hay. Combined, these factors paint a picture of continued high hay prices. The Minnesota Hay Bank will continue to be an important resource for horse owners who need a little extra help to keep horses well fed and healthy.”

Since its launch six (6) months ago in December 2012, the Minnesota Hay Bank has received 23 applications for assistance to feed over 200 horses. To date, it has distributed over $13,000 in feed assistance in the form of 49 round bales, 609 small squares, 200 units of alternative feed. The Minnesota Hay Bank seeks donations at all levels to reach its fundraising goal of $30,000 for 2013. With the Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund grant, the Minnesota Hay Bank has raised $7,600 in 2013.

About the MNHWC

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition is a group of organizations, attorneys, horse rescues, humane agents and individuals working to prevent equine neglect, abandonment and abuse. The Coalition’s work is focused on helping people needing assistance to provide for their equines and to save equines from neglect and abuse through direct support, foster care, emergency assistance and public education. The Coalition is comprised of teams dedicated to solving different aspects of the problem, including hay and feed assistance, temporary foster care, veterinary assistance, castration and euthanasia.

About Canterbury Park and Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund

Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino is Minnesota’s premier entertainment destination. Located in Shakopee, Minnesota, just 25 minutes from downtown Minneapolis & St. Paul, Canterbury Park is home to Live Racing, Simulcast Racing and a 24/7 Card Casino featuring Texas Hold’em, Blackjack and more.

The Canterbury Park Minnesota Fund (CPMF) originated in 2003 to unite Canterbury Park, our employees, horsemen and vendors in a common goal to provide assistance for charities benefiting equine organizations, responsible gaming programs and local causes.  The CPMF has grown into a successful grant program, awarding more than $750,000 in grants to Minnesota organizations since its inception.

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