On Thanksgiving Day, The Haven at Skanda will kick off its fourth annual Horses for the Holidays equine donation drive and awareness campaign with an expansion into 10 counties in Central New York. Horses for the Holidays invites all animal lovers to donate new and gently used equine supplies and make tax-deductible contributions to help vulnerable horses stay warm, safe and healthy during the winter months.
Horses for the Holidays was inspired by Skanda’s experience taking in 14 wild, rescued ponies in 2013, and the outpouring of generosity the community showed towards those ponies and towards Skanda. Realizing that the region lacked preventive services for horses and was stuck in a cycle of responding to crisis situations rather than preventing them, Skanda started Horses for the Holidays to channel that community caring and generosity and create a way for horse owners to get help early when a situation first arises, and before any animal need suffer. The program began in two counties in 2013, and has expanded each year.
Horses for the Holidays will run in Albany, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Jefferson, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Tompkins counties through Feb. 1, 2018. Requests for assistance from counties not on this list will also be honored, and supplies will be distributed for as long as they are available.
Everyone who would like to donate can find Horses for the Holidays collection boxes in popular stores, stables and schools, including Tractor Supply and CountryMax stores, family-owned farm supply stores, universities and stables.
The program also accepts tax-deductible financial donations online via its secure website at thehavenatskanda.org/horses-for-the-holidays, which provide the ability to purchase the exact supplies needed, without delay. Donations are also accepted by appointment at The Haven at Skanda (315-815-5056).
Donations needed include: heated water buckets, blankets, grain, hay, tack, grooming kits, bedding, de-wormer, donations of veterinary and farrier services are all extremely helpful for horses that lack adequate access to such resources.
Horse owners who need assistance can contact The Haven at Skanda any time at 315-815-5056 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests can also be placed via the website, or by filling out donation request slips that are attached to each collection box. The Haven at Skanda encourages anyone who is aware of a person in need of help to make a referral.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.