April 29, 2016

MSSPA celebrates ASPCA Help A Horse Day - By Alana Thornton

The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals celebrated the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) national Help A Horse Day on April 24th and is competing for a chance to win up to $25,000 in grant prizes to assist with their efforts to protect Maine horses who have been abused or neglected.

The Maine Horse Jubilee was an exposition of many aspects of horse appreciation and responsible horse keeping. During the family-friendly, free and open to the public event, there were several ongoing demonstrations including farrier Corey Austin trimming MSSPA horses, an equine veterinarian, Dr. Rachel Flaherty, doing a show and tell on equine dentistry, and a horse trainer, Debbie Little, performing groundwork with Rita, an MSSPA rescue horse. In addition, the Jubilee featured an equine photographer, Peter Armstrong of New Equine Photography, and author Vince Bruni displaying his work while signing posters and promoting his book “The TearDrop Garden” released that day. 

http://www.bluesealstores.com/?id=10&changeStore=1#.VwalU0e_a9wAlso on-site was display of technical emergency equipment needed to rescue large animals from hazards or accidents. A lively crew of enthusiastic volunteers staffed the official registration table, the donation stall, and the kids’ stall where colorful equine art was created to help decorate the barn. The pleasant weather allowed the hundreds of visitors to comfortably stroll about the farm observing horses in paddocks and pastures and hanging out with MSSPA mascot, Baxter.

The event was free and took place at the MSSPA farm at 279 River Road in Windham. Hundreds attended the event and are responsible for helping to raise $25,127 in donations to support MSSPA horses. In honor of the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary celebration this year, the contest has been expanded to include a total of $100,000 in grant prizes, including a grand prize of $25,000.

This nationwide competition is for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the lifesaving work they do year-round to care for at-risk horses in their community who have often been abused or neglected. Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since its founding 150 years ago, when Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse on April 26, 1866.

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