Historic rainfall and flooding have put horses near Baton Rouge, La., in a state of distress. Hundreds of horses have been affected. They need emergency rescue, temporary shelter and extensive veterinary care. The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) is providing financial assistance through the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.
The fund has given out more than $350,000 to assist horses in dire circumstances since it began in 2005 following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. All money donated to the fund is used only to benefit horses and their owners.
Since flooding began, more than 370 horses have been housed at shelters managed by the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, with staff, students, and volunteers providing 24-hour assistance.
Rebecca McConnico, a veterinarian who is a professor of equine medicine at LSU and leader of the Louisiana State Animal Response Team, explained, “We see aspirational pneumonia from the flood waters, there is laminitis from standing in water, and colic because (the horses) don’t have dry hay. You can spend $10,000 and still have a horse die.”
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