Photo credit: Jennifer Hegg/The American Saddlebred Legacy Foundation
Every Morgan Matters!
Morgan Safenet Foundation, Inc started up in October of 2013. On April 29, 2014, MSN became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit entity.
So we begin… a new year… a new focus.
Morgan Safenet Foundation Inc. (MSN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized under Texas state law. Our EIN is 46-5031216 and founded on April 29, 2014. MSN is an all-volunteer organization with many, including myself, working full-time positions during the day. All monies received completely support our mission, horses and programs. Our headquarters are located in Midlothian, TX 76065, and Colleen Saint Loup is MSN’s President and co-founder. Her contact information is 240.529.3066 or email@example.com.
Morgan Safenet’s journey began in October of 2013. It is not important how long our organization has been active, but our ability to learn, grow and evolve to the needs of those we serve and be able to work in their best interest. Looking back on our journey, we have grown a great deal in this time. And while change…growth…all can be scary, MSN works tirelessly to be open so we can best assist and benefit the Morgan breed as a whole.
Morgan Safenet evolved to a location that has taken in many horses from different scenarios; owner relinquishes, bad situations, auction, Amish homes, and direct from the kill pens. The goal is always to re-evaluate, re-train, and prepare them for a suitable home and to match them with the right person so the home then becomes a lasting one. This is only meant to be a transition time until such home can be found. We strive with the mindset that there is the Right Horse for every person out there. And sometimes this takes time and we find we carry these horses for longer periods than first anticipated, sometimes for life.
One of the biggest drains on our effort has been the Broker Programs. Every week countless number of horses pass through these Broker Programs with high fees, uncertain issues, with or without their papers, all pulling at the heart strings of anyone who reads or hears of the threat of shipping to slaughter. The Brokers have learned that they have a better chance to earn more money by selling horses this route than the cost of shipping and price per pound in shipping; and they are winning. Sadly, for any rescue often once the bail is paid, the horse placed with a rescue, the horse is then forgotten. For the rescue the bills don’t stop at the bail price, they have only just begun. Many rescues, including MSN, have invested thousands of dollars into these horses. Putting all efforts into rehabilitation, DNA testing, re-registering, re-training, all in an effort to re-home them. Sadly they get little attention after the bail. When these horses don’t get placed into a home, this continues to drain on the funds needed to maintain the horse until a suitable home comes along.
These are some honest facts about the Broker Programs:
1. There are over 75,000 horses on feed lots being fed for slaughter at any given time. One lot in Alberta, one in Montana, and one in North Dakota. These feed lots are owned by the same brothers who own two of the slaughter plants in Canada. This is so the owners of the slaughter plants can fill large contracts for horse meat.
2. Horse meat is on the menu and in grocery stores in the province of Quebec (as well as many other countries.)
3. Horse meat at the plant is paid for after the horse is killed and meat graded. A fat carcass over 1200 lbs. will bring 80 cents per pound. A skinny and less weight horse will bring as low as 25 cents per pound.
4. The carcass is tested for bute and other chemicals. If any are found it is sent for Zoo meat and the supplier is paid very little, if anything.
5. The majority of meat for human consumption comes from the feed lots mentioned in number one and since those horses are owned by the plant owners they are selling retail through these various Broker Programs claiming prices much higher.
To summarize, you will never shut down slaughter for human consumption as long as there are people who want to eat it. Most horses sold for slaughter probably go to one of the three feedlots owned by the slaughter plants where they pay very little. They are typically not the horses these programs feature on the weekly basis with the exception of the handful that have direct contracts. Most have to travel from one broker lot to the next until they reach the feedlot if not purchased. These Brokers do not have to spotlight every horse, only the ones they feel will bring them more. There are well over 100,000 unwanted horses each year. MORE than enough to fill the need for horse meat.
The Broker Programs ask for more because they can. Which is ironic that the prices are paid here, yet we shun owners for not being willing to come down on their price…and where do we think some of these Brokers finally get these horses? Owners who have made every last attempt to honestly home their horses with no success.
It is in light of these facts, one of MSN’s biggest changes will be exemption from feeding into this system. This is not where we can win or where the greatest change can be made. This is not to shun the people and/or organizations who choose to. MSN feels we can’t fight effectively here and we certainly cannot use monies granted toward our mission to the best avail. We can’t promise we will never pull from a pen, but going forward we are putting our efforts into helping BEFORE there is a need to rescue.
These Brokers will continue to prey on your good intentions and make every penny they can off of you. That is not what MSN is about and it takes away from legitimate work being done out there both ahead and beyond the Broker pipeline.
MSN will not take up sides in the debate on horse slaughter. MSN wishes it wasn’t a fact of life but unfortunately it exists and so far no one has come up with a good way to deal with all the horses that are created with no purpose, unwanted, or simply to supply the market of people who desire horse meat.
MSN does feel horse slaughter is a SYMPTOM of an issue, NOT THE PROBLEM causing the issue. For the same reasons that some rescues feel that they are “cleaning up” man’s ignorances, irresponsibilities and lack of compassion toward human life, I’m sure the Brokers feel they are filling the same need as they see countless more in numbers of unwanted and neglected. Again a symptom of a much bigger problem and as a species we excel at fighting the symptoms instead of the problems. MSN is trying to stay focused on where more of the problem is, so change can be most effective…further up the pipeline.
What gets overlooked and passed by are the ones who could have avoided this situation all together...the frustrated owner who has a horse to sell, the owner who has tried everything to re-home a perfectly suitable horse to no avail, the owner who legitimately wants a better solutions for their equine friend but has simply run out of time, money and options... all sent right up the river into this system that is now pleading for you to save them. A system that profiting greatly at the expense of the horse. If we all took the time to learn a bit more, be a bit more open minded, accepting of flaws and labels, reached out to someone asking for help, offered solutions with less judging, took the time to better our horsemanship and figure out our bonding issues...maybe...just maybe there would be a little less in the pipe.
Going forward Morgan Safenet’s focus will not be at the Broker Program End. It will be;
Educate: To educate the public from experiences in the field. To dispel myths associated with Amish, auction, training, care, quarantine systems, how to find the right hauler. Training resources to help horses in transition or in need of rehabilitation to prepare them for the right home and further their chances at adoption.
Promote: Advocate for the breed. Spread awareness of the Morgan Horse to persons not familiar. Show its versatility and create a new love that may not have been there before.
Protect: MSN will continue to share their stories to promote awareness of their plight. They are the ones with no voice and we will continue to be their voice so people may learn that ignorance, irresponsibility and simply not knowing are not enough.
Inspire: MSN has reached out to aspiring youth who want to be future trainers and have their assistance in working with and placing Morgans.
MSN will also continue providing a network, assisting owners, trainers, breeders, Amish and Mennonite communities an avenue to re-home and repurpose their Morgans. This will prevent the need for a future rescue. This strategy achieves great results, because most horses can stay at their current site, while locating a potential new home. We are also hoping our lease program becomes an asset to some, not yet ready to make their first horse purchase but wanting to get their feet wet with horse ownership and showing. This is a way to help support our programs with limited risks and a way for our horses to give back to the community.
From the rescuing side, going forward, we will step up when we are able to provide a spot and financial support. Horses that come through will receive 30-day quarantine, and evaluation. These horses will be considered In-Transition. When they are ready for adoption they will be posted as Available. All horses will go with our contract. Every Morgan Matters and we pride ourselves in working to match correctly every horse we home, ensuring a lasting relationship.
We know our stand may deter some. It’s okay to have a different perspective and no matter what you choose, we hope you will move forward into 2018 with passionate, positive purpose.
MSN is looking forward to a strong 2018 with positive changes and inspiring hope.
Let us begin,
#repurpose #everymorganmatters #partnersforchange #saddlebredlegacy #morgansafenet
Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATE ~ PROMOTE ~ PROTECT ~ INSPIRE
BEFORE rescue is needed.