A Vancouver Island non-profit dedicated to saving horses from slaughter needs your help.

Humanity for Horses Rescue and Rehab aims to save, protect and improve the lives of horses in B.C. and Alberta that would otherwise be bound for meat.

The pandemic is taking a toll on the Duncan-based rescue’s donations, which drives its day-to-day operations.

Rebecca Sanesh is the president of the board for the Humanity for Horses Foundation.

She said they’re getting a fraction of their usual amount of donations.

Sanesh noted that their average monthly donations were running at about $6,500 a month. 

In March they got $3,000 and this month they’re down to $2,100. 

She suspects May will be even more dismal.

With the rescue’s expenses running about $8,800 a month, Sanesh said there is a constant cost. 

“We still have to feed, we still have seniors that are on medications, we still have vet bills, we have seniors that are on mash diets only, we have horses with low sugar requirements… so feed costs are huge for us, as are vet costs so we still need funds coming in and of course, with the COVID thing, and so many people unfortunately out of work, donations are way, way down.”

She said the farm has been through a lot over the past few months. It was going to close its doors in the fall because, Sanesh said, it was a victim of vandalism and online harassment.

“Then somebody in Alberta chose to use Humanity for Horses’ name and was writing fraudulent cheques back there,” Sanesh said. “So the police were great, they got on board with it all, and the person who was writing the cheques has actually been charged with fraud, which is great, and the vandalism and harassment has all stopped.”

However, the non-profit continues to face challenges. To cut down on expenses, it stopped taking in new horses since last fall.

“Unfortunately, there are so many horses being shipped for slaughter now into the processing plants,” Sanesh said.

Now, it’s looking for anyone looking to adopt a horse or make a donation.

“There is an adoption fee; there is an adoption process,” Sanesh said. 

“We have 44 horses because we had two babies born that we weren’t expecting, and so we had to pull another one from the adoption list because she is due any day now, as well.”

Horses can be adopted to homes as far north on the island as the Comox Valley, Campbell River, and Port Hardy.

If you want to adopt a horse, you can take it for a month’s trial before making an official decision.

“Anyone who wants to adopt a horse, we’re not saying, ‘Here, you have to take it and you’re now stuck with it.’ It’s ‘Here, take it, try it, make sure you’re a good match with each other, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into it.’ At the end of the month, there’s the option of, they can either return it, and we refund, and/or they adopt it, officially.”

The rescue says the horses are valuable for therapy, riding, PSTD, showing, and companions. 

For more on the rescue, visit its Facebook page