Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces lawmakers support the Horse Rescue Fund

By Mike Koch

State Representative Nathan Small and State Senator Carrie Hamblen, both Las Cruces Democrats, are among those providing financial support to homeless, abused horses.

Animal Protection New Mexico (APNM) and Animal Protection Voters (APV) groups announced in January the distribution of $153,000 in “essential federal financial assistance to homeless and abused horses, donkeys and mules through the Horse Shelter Rescue Fund (HSRF )” at .13 press release.

Ten state-licensed horse shelters serve the entire state by housing hundreds of horses, animals given up when their families were going through hard times, as well as stray, abandoned and abused horses transferred from the New Mexico Livestock Board, the two said Groups.

“The work of these shelters saves animals’ lives, makes communities safer, and provides a service to local and state governments, all without regular federal funding, supported almost entirely by donors and volunteers,” the press release said.

The pandemic, ongoing drought and dramatic rise in hay prices are having a devastating impact on New Mexico’s state-licensed horse shelters, the groups said.

Most of this supportive funding came from an item included in Senate Bill 377 (the “Junior Budget”) during the 2021 legislative session, thanks to support from Small, Hamblen and Rep. Kristina Ortez, D-Taos. Each legislature pledged $50,000 to HSRF, resulting in a total horse grant of $150,000. The remaining amount distributed by HSRF comes from voluntary tax-filing donations.

“I am honored by the work that the nine sponsored horse homes are doing,” said Hamblen. “They not only help these dignified creatures live healthy and nourishing lives, but also the healing they naturally provide in therapeutic settings. It’s the least we can do for them considering what they give for it.”

In 2013, APV led the creation of HSRF, a mechanism for horse shelters to receive government funding for their important work.

APNM’s mission is to advocate for animal rights by effecting systemic change that leads to the humane treatment of all animals. For more than 40 years, APNM has planned, implemented and delivered dynamic programs, projects, services and collaborations covering a wide range of animal welfare issues.

Founded in 2002, APV is the premier legislative and policy advocacy group for animal welfare in New Mexico. Driven by grassroots supporters, its mission is to actively promote and support animal-friendly laws at the state, federal and local levels; building an effective political voice for animal advocacy in New Mexico; and to hold New Mexico’s elected officials accountable on animal issues.

Visit www.apnm.org and follow APNM on Facebook @animalprotectionnm, Instagram @animalprotectionnewmexico, Twitter @apnm and YouTube @apnm; and www.apvnm.org as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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