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‘People can no longer afford them’: Local equine rescue helps struggling horse owners during pandemic

Coronavirus in Kansas

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue and Sanctuary is a place where neglected animals can get back on their feet.

The non-profit says over the last month they have seen more four-legged friends coming in, “People can no longer afford them,” explained Kelly Benton, Hope in the Valley board member.

In order to do her part, Georgann McDonald decided to expand her family by one by adopting a donkey.

“I got to thinking about how expensive it is to feed horses and donkeys. I knew this was going to be a really tough time for the rescues,” she said.

Benton says although they are happy to give animals a second chance it is tough seeing some well-intentioned owners give them up.

“Horses are just like our companion pets. People are attached to their horses, and it’s heartbreaking. There’s a lot of emotion when people drop them off,” she said.

Similar to other non-profits, Hope in the Valley is feeling the financial pinch.

“The individual donors that keep us going need to take care of their families. People are losing jobs, needing to save for a rainy day. So our donations are down,” said Benson.

The non-profit is watching their budget and making it work. However, they know more animals will be coming in. So one adoption can help the sanctuary save more horses.

“It takes a lot to take care of them as far as vet bills and the hay expense. And if you can do it, it’s just you’ll get back more than you give for sure,” said McDonald.

Hope in the Valley is still open for adoptions by appointments, in order to ensure social distancing. Benson says they are accepting serious inquiries to ensure the animals go to safe homes.

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