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.