Ontario-based T’bred welfare advocate Mindy Lovell announced this week the success of her $10,000 fundraiser to buy hay and grain for her herd of 43 Thoroughbreds rescued from the slaughter pipeline.
Touched by the charity of others, Lovell says she feels buoyed by the successful campaign, even if it represents a single victory in an ongoing battle to keep her rescued horses fed and cared for as she works to find them new homes.
Lovell is making appointments with prospective adopters who have shown interest in her horses as she attempts to winnow her herd to a more manageable number, and scale back her operation at Transitions Thoroughbreds.
In a Q&A with Off-TrackThoroughbreds.com, Lovell expresses her gratitude for the funds, and notes that the money will carry her horses through the worst part of winter, but that soon enough, she will embark on another fundraiser to carry them through the spring.
Q: Congratulations! You raised the $10,000 in your fundraiser. What was the most unexpected source or the best part of this effort?
I would say the most unexpected source would have been from the kids like Ellah Dubeau-Kielty, although I have had other kids around her age or a bit older do fundraisers in the past as well— making horse treats, decorating horse shoes to sell for me, but the donation is in a special category when it comes from younger people like her.
I have to say that when the children are involved, it actually makes me sad that they are aware of what happens to these horses, the slaughter part of it. In a way I am glad that they take a stand at that young an age, but on the other hand, like I said, it makes me sad that a child knows these things. I think some innocence is lost and I wish it could be different.
As far as the best part of the effort, it was the knowledge that so many people do care about these horses, that there are so many that love them and want something better for them – from both the public and the industry.
Q: Even though the $10,000 fundraiser was a success, you have no time to take a breath before starting other campaigns, like the Valentine’s Day Sponsor a Horse Campaign.
Right now my hands are pretty because I don’t have a guaranteed funding source.
It’s always stressful and calls for a lot of creative bill shuffling on my part to keep on top of things. My goal is to potentially increase guaranteed monthly funding so that it can cover costs of the horses here, and potentially help pay to help others.
Although I cannot take on any more horses, I get a lot of calls and messages about horses in a desperate place, and all I can do is try to find someone else to help out, which is very difficult.
In the meantime, I am planning a Valentine’s Day Sponsor a Horse Campaign and have that all set up and ready to go. I will be posting that closer to the end of January. I am also creating a Gift Shop album of items for sale to help cover more farrier, vet and maintenance costs.
Q: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for you?
There are many days when I feel that it’s too much; not enough people care enough to make a difference for the horses, and I feel very much alone.
I feel very, very sad for all those that I can do nothing for and to know that there really are so many that head down that road to slaughter. As far as thinning my own herd, the inquiries have slowed down, as was to be expected, as it is usually that way through some of the winter months; however, they are still coming in and I have appointments that I am currently trying to arrange now so I am hoping to get a number more horses placed before spring.
10 responses to “With $10K raised, Lovell to start V-Day fundraiser”
We need more rescue places like Mindy’s. We also need to support Bill C-322 a Private Members’ Bill being tabled by MP Alec Atanamenko. Horse Slaughter has to be abolished. I agree with Mindy, the U.S. has to pass the Safe Act. If no horses were coming up from the U.S. we would shut down our horse slaughter plants.
We need to get the SAFE Act passed. I am pretty sure that since 80% of the horses slaughtered in Canada and Mexico are U.S. horses, that would sure shut down a lot of the plants both here and Mexico. I cannot see 5 slaughter plants operating here in Canada with only 20% of the horses available. There are other issues as well such as non-eligibility for slaughter in the first place that we need to keep make an issue of and in the meantime, these horses need somewhere to go to be cared for until new homes can be found for them.
Is there anything I can do physcially to help. I live in Va and off weekends. Can I volunteer to come and assist and help so horses don’t die in slaughterhouses. I worked for an airline and sometimes I can use passes to get places. Let me know via email. Thanks. Adele
Hi Mindy: Learned about you thru the OTTB page on fb. I have worked as a TB race track groom and own one OTTB mare. I am praying for you and your operation, for continued provision/funding and homes for the horses. God bless you and the work you are doing.
I have to say that in doing this work, I have had the opportunity to meet and converse with some of the most amazing like-minded people I could possibly imagine. I have also met many of the worst people I could possibly imagine. It is the good in people and the people that love these horses, that makes it possible to keep going and, of course, the horses. I look around me every day and cannot even begin to imagine one single one of them facing the death sentence that lay ahead for them. To say that they are forgiving is an understatement as so many of these horses certainly faced various forms of abuse even before they entered the slaughter pipeline. I consider it a privilege to be in their presence and to know who they are and what they have done and maybe they never did a thing on the track – it does not matter. I can never make up for what may have happened in their past but to see them blossom, the fear disappear and the personalities emerge makes it all worthwhile. They truly are amazing. To see them tossed away like yesterday’s garbage is unacceptable to me and I am so glad to have met so many people that feel the same way. That too I consider a privilege. I chose to do this “Sponsor a Horse Campaign” in February, for Valentine’s Day because that is the month/day of “love” and that is what these horses have to offer – despite all that has happened in their past and I hope that many that love them just as much as I do, will help me to continue to help them and many more in the future. I hope and pray for a day when they no longer face the end of their lives with the indignity and brutality of slaughter – it is just not acceptable – they are owed better than that.
I would be willing to send monthly for the care of rescue horses. I live in Texas and I think we can rescue forever and until our law makers stop the transport of American horses across US boarders and force animal owners to take responsibility for their own, we are a cat chasing our tail. Canada is another issue. Horse slaughter is legal and a thriving business. Also, using horses, pregnant mares, to produce hormones women use to feel better is another tragedy. Most of those horses and their foals end up in slautghter. I know you must feel very frustrated and completely wore out doing what you do, but just know there are many many out here reading your blog that admire you and appreciate what you are doing!
I know at times you must feel that you are alone. You are not. I too am involved in bringing horse to my sanctuary it is a hard road to travel one but one I choose to travel on.
I’ve recently met thoroughbreds, and I’m honored by their presence and the dignity of this breed.
Raising funds is indeed difficult but somehow those who care appear.
I wish you well.
I am SO happy for Mindy’s success in this endeavour to raise the $10,000. It was through a CBC Radio interview, a couple of years ago while I was in bed, rehabbing post-operatively after a bad riding accident, that I first became aware of Mindy and Transitions Thoroughbreds. Being the owner of an OTTB myself, I was moved to tears listening to Mindy’s story of all the TB’s being sent down the slaughter pipeline. She is a strong and fearless voice for these spectacular horses, and has single-handedly raised awareness of the horrifying end they so often face, following a (short) lifetime of giving their all to their owners and trainers.
Thanks, offtrackthoroughbreds.com, for continuing to tell Mindy’s and the horses she rescues, story.
I’ve had two TB geldings. At least one was on the track and he, I think,went out west to a ranch. My other gelding is at a therapeutic riding barn in Waukesha, WI. He’s in his 20’s now; not the best place for him but they take care of all his bills and meet most of his needs. I still own him but he gets alot of hugs and kisses from people who value him and need him.
I’m now at a barn with a horse trainer who really values a good horse regardless of breeding and will grab an OTTB if he finds one he likes.
He just found one from a Michigan track for one of his trainers, a lovely 4 year old gray that raced only 6 times, didn’t place and came to us skinny and scared. Didn’t know what a carrot was. Really likes to jump whatever is in front of him and loves his new job.
Best of luck… let me know if I can help.
Let’s get on board and pull for Mindy as she continues her incredible work saving horses.