The Georgia Equine Rescue League (GERL), in association with the ASPCA, will sponsor its first Help a Horse Day (HaHD) April 29, 2017 at Criswell Park in Monroe. Admission to the event, which is planned from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., is free.
“We are a 23-year-old all-volunteer group of several hundred members,” said Donna Harrison with GERL. “Our goal for this event is to educate the community in terms of what our non-profit organization does and the ways we contribute to our state and surrounding states through our many programs.”
Harrison said plans for the event include:
- family-oriented horse-themed games and activities
- live horses on site for photo opportunities and informational lectures
- guest appearances by equine professionals as well as visits by local dignitaries
- concessions and live music
- vendor booths with crafts and a used tack sale
- visits from one or more rescued and now rehabilitated horses with their success stories
“We are in the process of contacting additional participants from the University of Georgia and equine acupuncturists, chiropractors and massage therapists. We are very excited to have Ann Harris, Platinum Award Recipient and her fabulous trail horse, Marty present at our “teaser” event April 22 at A.H. Stephens State Park,” Harrison said, adding that they have committed volunteers to help with the event, including people to man concessions booths, help with games and, transportation and everything to make the first “Help a Horse Day” in Walton County a success.
Although it is a fundraiser, Harrison said it is more about raising awareness about equine rescue.
“It is not about how much we fund-raise: it is about how well we ‘rock the media’ and make our communities aware of what we do and how we help horses,” she said. “This is the fifth HaHD the ASPCA has sponsored.”
Harrison said the event is open to equine rescues and welfare organizations nationwide with 117 participating groups last year. The ASPCA offers $100,000 in grant awards to be divided among winners:
- $25K/first place;
- $10K 2-6 places;
- $5K 7-11 places.
“In the last 5 years, ASPCA has awarded us $21,000 in grant money to help us provide low-cost castrations of stallions brought in by responsible owners,” Harrison said. “The ASPCA understands the good work we do and we are honored to accept this challenge from them.”
More about the Georgia Equine Rescue League
GERL provides FREE law enforcement training across the southeast, supports Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training by Dr. Rebecca Giminez, low-cost castrations throughout the year, shares sponsorships with many commercial agencies including Kroger, Amazon and others, maintains a website and a Facebook page, created and continues the Prison Impounds for some of our rescues where inmates are afforded the chance to rehabilitate, train, love and offer adoption services for many horses and provide foster homes for dozens of unwanted or abused horses. We originated the “Feed a Horse” program which is a big part of the umbrella program “The Get Well Plan”, a well-prepared agenda that is now a model for neighboring states. Our President, Ms. Patty Livingston, travels tirelessly at her own expense to present our workable programs to agencies and has represented us on television as she advocates for horse welfare.