For Immediate Release:
Dr. Jennifer Williams (President of Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society)
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society Partners with Weatherford Veterinarian to Give Recipient Mares A Second Chance
In July of this year, Dr. Leea Arnold of the Arnold Reproduction Center in Weatherford, Texas decided it was time to retire some mares from her herd. These mares have been used as embryo transfer recipients: they receive fertilized embryos from other mares, carry the foal to term, and then nurse and care for the foal until weaning time.
Farms use recipient mares to have foals when their mares aren’t able to carry a foal to term, when they want to continue competing their mares, or when they wish to have multiple foals from a mare in a year.
Each year, Dr. Arnold decides to retire mares who have problems carrying foals to term or who are getting older. This July, she sent approximately 40 of these horses to auction where 11 they were purchased by a “kill buyer”. (“Kill buyers” purchase horses at auction to resell to both individuals as riding horses, broodmares, or pets as well as to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada). After being confronted about her decision to send the mares to an auction, Dr. Arnold released a statement on Facebook and said, “I will use another avenue to re-home these mares in the future. If you are a non-profit organization and have your 501[c]3 at hand, I would be more than happy to donate any older or reproductively unsound recipients to your facilities as they become available.”
“Blue Bonnet Equine has been the only organization to step forward wanting to re-home recipients, and we are very appreciative of their offers of genuine assistance and support in finding alternatives.,” said Dr. Arnold. “A very few number of individuals have inquired about adopting recipients. I’m constantly asked if I have a place to take in a horse to add to my recipient herd, but I don’t get asked if I have mares no longer reproductively sound that I want to give away or donate. I do have plans to advertise recipients on the Facebook page to see if anyone wants to offer a viable option of re-homing. It would be wonderful if the response to adopt equals the angry outcry against selling through an auction.”
Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, a 501(c)(3) rescue and welfare organization headquartered in College Station was the only Texas rescue to answer the call, and this weekend the organization took in the first two recipient mares. Bluebonnet’s Executive Director, Dr. Jennifer Williams says, “Our organization primarily focuses on law enforcement cases involving abused, neglected, abandoned, or stray horses, but we’re fortunate right now to have some extra room in the rescue and wanted to spare these mares from going to slaughter.”
These two mares are now at a foster home and will be evaluated by a trainer in the near future and then placed up for adoption. Their adoption fees will be waived if they’re adopted before being sent to a trainer. After training, their fee will be set based on how much training they have.
Williams added that the rescue will only be able to take in additional recipient mares as they have space, and they may have to turn some of them away. “We can give safe haven to more recipient mares, but we need community support in the form of foster homes, adopters for these horses, and donations for their care.”
If you would like to adopt or foster one of these recipient mares or make a donation to their care, please contact Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society at (888) 542 5163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.