Hay shortage Increases rescue calls

Recently two rescue organizations in Nebraska and Iowa worked together to find homes for two donkeys, two mules and a pregnant pony. Lusco Farms Donkey Rescue - Malvern, IA was contacted by a family who needed assistance in rehoming their father‚s pets after he had suddenly passed away. The remaining family members had little experience in raising equines, so they placed an ad on Craigslist hoping that someone would take the animals.

They didn't have much luck until someone directed them to contact Lusco Farms to see if they could assist. Scott Shehan the co-founder of the rescue made contact with the family and assessed their needs. Lusco Farms has seen an increase in the number of surrender cases due to the high hay prices. All rescues are feeling the pinch due to the economy and now the drought from the 2012 summer has made it even tougher. Scott Shehan reached out to Epona Rescue operated by Lin Beaune and Larry Guyton in Crete Nebraska to see if they had room to take the pony and her month old baby mule. A mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey. The Epona Rescue had shared the same concern about the increase in surrender calls due to the hay shortage issue. Lin shared with Scott on an email, „we can‚t let a momma and a baby starve, we will find a way to help‰. In short order a plan was designed and the two organization gathered resources necessary to rescue the animals.

    Upon arriving all the animals were in good health aside from a few of the animals being over weight. This wasn‚t a case of neglect. „The family did the right thing by calling early before things were out of control‰, stated Lura Shehan, co-founder of Lusco Farms Rescue. The only concern was the male donkey called a „jack‰ was allowed to breed the pony and possible the female donkey called a „jenny‰. Overbreeding is a huge issue within the equine world right now. Both rescues are encouraging people who own equines to have the males gelded or kept in separate living space from the females to prevent over breeding.

    This is a wonderful example of how nonprofit organizations work together for the betterment of the animals. Prior to this rescue situation Epona and Lusco Farms had never worked together on a rescue. Both groups have since become more aware of the others passion for animals and are staying in contact as they work to rehabilitate and rehome all the animals.