The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Friday, August 19, 2005

September 18--HSUS-Throw A Party to Save Our Horses

(from the Humane Society of the United States)
On September 18, Host a House Party to Keep America's Horses Home on the Range!

The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the lobbying arm of The Humane Society and the Fund for Animals, invites you to host or attend the first ever Party Animals event on September 18, 2005, to spread the word on what you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors can do to save America's horses. Whether you host or attend a party, you'll be part of a network of animal advocates on September 18 who will take part in a simultaneous nationwide conference call at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle and a special surprise guest. Together, you'll learn the awful truth about America's horses and how they're slaughtered by the thousands for human consumption overseas. You'll also learn about the federal legislation we're working on to end horse slaughter, and about how you can help save American horses from cruel slaughterhouses.

You can "party with a purpose" in one of two ways:

Host a Party: Invite your friends, neighbors, and fellow animal advocates over for an afternoon party on Sunday, September 18, and help save horses by raising money for the Humane Society Legislative Fund's lobbying campaign to pass a horse slaughter bill in the U.S. Senate. We have set a $300 goal for each party, and we'll provide expert advice and tips to help you meet and exceed that goal. Hosts will dial in their parties to the nationwide conference call at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, so we recommend that you begin your event one hour prior. Click here to start setting up your party -- it only takes a few minutes.

Attend a Party: Hosts need attendees! So don't miss your chance to have a great time at a Party Animals event while making a difference for America's horses. You can even meet fellow animal advocates in your area! Click here to find the party nearest you. If you don't see one in your area, please check back -- new hosts will be setting up parties everyday! If you can't attend a party but would still like to help, click here to make a contribution to the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

(Note: Donations to the Humane Society Legislative Fund are used exclusively to press for laws to protect animals from cruelty, and therefore are not tax-deductible.)

Questions about Party Animals? Contact Jake Oster at or call (202) 676-2309.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

See for yourself...

Order journalist Len Johnson's award-winning documentary, "Last of the Spanish Mustangs."

The industry in all its dirty glory.

Laughing Horses...

Salvation at Sandy Level--The Laughing Horse Sanctuary in Pittsylvania County rescues horses from neglect and abuse.
By Elizabeth Farina, The Roanoke Times

"One of their first dates was to a livestock auction, where Tom Durfee took notice of his future wife's interest in a calf.

"Most guys buy jewelry. He bought me a cow," Julia Durfee said.

The fully grown cow, known as Samantha, is now part of a large family of four-legged friends at The Laughing Horse Sanctuary in Pittsylvania County.

Tom and Julia Durfee, who married in August 1999, started the sanctuary in 2003 after Tom read an article about horse slaughter practices in an issue of "Horse Illustrated."

"It's a sick trade," Tom said. "I can understand if you have to humanely euthanize a horse, but you don't have to torture it to death. I felt that I should give these 'supposed' unwanted horses a place to live."

Tom, a New Jersey native and U.S. Navy veteran of the Persian Gulf War, was already raising a small number of livestock, such as goats and cattle, when the couple took in six horses from a trader. The couple decided Julia, 41, would focus on her home-based medical transcription company and Tom, 44, would focus on the full-time efforts of caring for the rescue's animals.

Blue, Sadie, Sarrie, Katie, Pepper, and Shadow now have a permanent home on 70 acres of land at the Sandy Level sanctuary with views of Smith Mountain.

"Shadow was beaten and terrified of people. He's survived two trips through the auction house," Tom said. "I've been riding him now for four years. It took me two years for him not to tremble when he made a mistake. He's my equine soul mate."

Since these six horses arrived, several more with similar past abuses by previous owners have been brought to The Laughing Horse Sanctuary. Recent arrivals include 10 wild mustangs that were part of a larger herd being starved to death in California. Now "the Wild Bunch" number 13 since three of the mustang mares were pregnant upon arrival.

Wendy Henderson of Richmond, a regular volunteer at the rescue, purchased Diamond from a co-worker and donated the horse with a sponsorship to the rescue.

"Forty dollars a month is cheap for boarding," said Henderson, who has two horses of her own in the Richmond area.

The Laughing Horse Sanctuary sponsorship program asks for a $40 monthly donation that covers hay, feed and grass seed cost for each horse. The sanctuary adoption rate for a horse is $500. There is a $50 adoption fee for the companion goats.

"We've adopted out six pet goats since February and one horse named Faith," Julia said. "It's not about the profit but taking care of the horses. We do it out of love."

The sanctuary also accepts volunteer hours. Volunteer opportunities include grooming and brushing the horses to experienced riders helping out in exercising the Appaloosas, Quarter horses, and other mares.

"We enjoy people coming to see the animals," Tom said. "The horses like a change of scenery and there is no charge to ride."

The nonprofit horse rescue, which is funded through donations, adoptions and sponsorships of the horses and goats, is only part of the Durfees' lives. The couple also lobbies Congress to pass a federal ban on the slaughter of horses, which are a considered a dining delicacy in European markets. The H.R. 503 bill, introduced in February by Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) with 113 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, was referred to the subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, nonprofit organizations are allowed to lobby for issues as long as they stay within various guidelines in regard to spending and effort.

"If we end slaughter, the rescues could do the job they were meant to do and focus on the injured, like Hoppy and Chico," Tom said.

Chico is a 28-year-old Tennessee Walker that was loved by a family who could no longer care for him. The sweet fellow greets every visitor to the sanctuary as he peruses the front yard of the rescue with several baby goats. Hoppy, a former show horse, broke his leg while he was neglected by his former owner in winter pasture. The blue-eyed beauty is now unable to put weight on the healed leg, which received treatment too late.

"Every horse has a story," Julia said.

On the Net:

Monday, August 01, 2005


With Congress going on break through the month of August and legislators returning to their districts, we urge you to please take this time to meet with your US Representative (if he/she is not already a co-sponsor to H.R. 503) and your 2 US Senators to ask them to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA).

It is likely that most legislators will be in their home state district office's throughout the month of August, so this is the perfect time for us all to meet face to face with them to encourage their support for the horses! To find out who your legislators are and where the closest district office is, please click here Contact the district office for with your meeting request.

Please ask your Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 503 (if they haven' done so already), and also ask your 2 Senators to support (and co-sponsor) the AHSPA when Senator Ensign (R-NV), one of the two veterinarians in the US Congress and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) reintroduce it following recess on Septmber 6th.

For a list of the 113 current HR 503 co-sponsors, please go to

For talking points to use during meetings with your legislators, please
visit our horse slaughter page

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. These meetings are very important. Pro-horse slaughter organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Equine Practioners are working hard to misinform YOUR elected officals. Use this time to show your support and present the facts about the cruelty of horse slaughter.

Thank you for your continued help and support on behalf of our horses!

Chris Heyde
Society for Animal Protective Legislation
PO Box 3719
Washington, DC 20027
Tel: (703) 836-4300

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