Nonprofit horse rescue seeks community support


Nonprofit horse rescue seeks community support 7-17-12

BOZEMAN, Mont. - A horse rescue group out of Belgrade needs your help.

The Montana Awareness Education and Equine Rehab Association or MAERA finds homes for horses in need but now they're facing needs of their own.

Leo was originally destined for slaughter before MAERA Executive Director Sasha Hyland found him in a pen on his way to Canada.

Leo is just one of hundreds of horses MAERA's rescued over the years.

Yet, that's not all they do. In addition to offering educational and learning opportunities, the group recently opened their doors to livestock affected by this year's wildland fires.

"We have a pretty large facility here, with over 150 stalls and decided because we have this extra space and with us being a horse rescue and rehab center, we had the skills and the area to be able to help any horses and small livestock in need," says Hyland.

With at least 50 horses on hand at all times, MAERA goes through$15,000 and 40 tons of hay each month and those numbers don't include any extra horses they take on in emergencies.

"We've started to realize the immense need that's out in Montana, especially during these crisis situations and with what we do in general and the biggest thing for us is just being able to get out there and being able to help in any situation possible," explains Hyland.

However, a larger facility and high hay prices are making it tough for the organization.

"If you're on a facility like us that can only feed hay, we're on 52 acres but we actually don't have pasture for turnout, which is something we're also looking for, that those situations really, really, really increase our budget," explains Hyland.

That's why the group is hoping for the community's support.

Though our hay stock and the supplies are lower, the biggest need for us is so we can keep this going, so we can have our budget that works for us so, we can keep our doors open so, all of these guys can stay here and have a good place to to be until they find a more permanent home," says Hyland.

The group will be flying over burn areas looking for lost livestock and are inviting folks to let them know if they're missing anything.

For more information or if you'd like to donate time, money or hay call Sasha Hyland at 406-551-4913.

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