Blue Cross offers lifeline for horses during pandemic winter

Blue Cross lifeline BR Farm
CASE STUDY: Right, Following a suspensory injury, ‘Tully’, a 13-year-old Connemara gelding was deemed no longer suitable for ridden work and Deborah turned to Blue Cross to help find him a suitable companion home. The charity had previously successfully rehomed two other horses from the same livery yard that ‘Tully’ was kept at, and Deborah wanted the same for ‘Tully’. Lorna had approached Blue Cross looking for another companion to join her small herd and the Blue Cross Home Direct team matched her with ‘Tully’, who now has a perfect life in retirement. (FW44-516NN)

NATIONAL pet charity Blue Cross is offering a lifeline for vulnerable horses and ponies via its Home Direct scheme, ahead of a predicted tough winter, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause difficulties for horse owners.

Welfare charities predict that this winter may be catastrophic for horse carers, as job losses continue, and finances are squeezed. While most equine charities are full and unable to help the public with their horses, Blue Cross is offering its innovative Home Direct service as a welfare solution to help avert a winter equine welfare crisis. Home Direct literally provides horses with new homes straight from their current home. It also helps take the pressure off struggling charities, so that they can focus on welfare emergencies.

“Home Direct is a practical and efficient rehoming scheme to help us support even more horses during this unprecedently difficult time,” said Vicki Alford, Horse Rehoming Centre Manager at Blue Cross, Burford.

“We understand the struggles that many horse owners may be going through as the pandemic continues. We encourage them to approach us whilst their horses are still healthy, rather than risk them being passed form pillar to post, potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation. We are here to listen and help, not to judge, and with Home Direct we a can help people as much as we are helping horses.”

Blue Cross Home Direct has proved to be highly effective, with 87 horses helped since it was launched back in 2015. Every horse is assessed thoroughly by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then advertised on the charity’s website. Once a potential new owner has been found, Blue Cross will arrange and oversee initial visits. If it’s a good match, the horse will then be rehomed directly from the old home to the new one. All the home visits and checks will be completed as if the horse was from a Blue Cross centre.

Blue Cross also offers their Home Direct service to other equine welfare charities that don’t specialise in rehoming. Any horse can be considered for Home Direct, as long as they pass a health check and are not on any long-term medication.

If you need support, advice or guidance about giving up your horse, please email: helpmyhorse@bluecross.org.uk

For details of Blue Cross horses looking for homes, please visit https:// www.bluecross. org.uk/rehome/ horse. If you are not in a position to rehome, but still wish to help, please consider supporting Blue Cross via their website: www.bluecross.org.uk.

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