Horsemart recently pledged to offer all horse rescue organisations and charities in the UK a subscription completely free of charge, so they can post unlimited ads to find safe and loving homes for abandoned horses.
Since launching in October 2015, Horsemart’s ‘Safe Homes for Horses’ scheme, has been embraced by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, Horses4Homes and HorseWorldTrust, and a further 13 charities have come on board. Over 400 horses have been listed and are undergoing the process of finding ‘forever homes’ through Horsemart and the charities’ other channels.
“We’re so delighted with the take up so far,” says Annabelle Millar, marketing executive for Horsemart. “To date, over £25,000 worth of advertising costs have been given free through the scheme, which we hope will go a long way towards helping these incredible charities rehome their rescue horses.”
The team at Horsemart felt compelled to act last autumn, after news broke that 13 horses in Northumberland were destroyed due to an inability to rehome them.
A brutal reality is that across the country unwanted horses are being euthanized by local authorities struggling to cope with the issue of illegal grazing and abandoned animals. News reports recently have revealed the extent to which animals are put to sleep, with councils saying it’s simply too costly and time consuming to find loving homes for them.
Annabelle says: “Horsemart is the Number 1 marketplace within the equine industry and exposure to this audience is vital if we have any hope of rehoming future horses that face a similar fate. We’re confident this is providing great exposure for the charities, reaching our 500,000 visitors a month, our equine email database of 50,000 and our 90,000 followers on Facebook.”
The Horsemart team is now working hard to publicise the campaign, and encourage more horse rescue organisations to take advantage of the free subscription – worth £149 per month, or £1,788 a year. The horses are listed within the main search pool of horses for sale, rather than being singled out as rescue horses. The aim is to promote the ‘right home for the right horse’ which should be based on the type of horse the potential owner wants and can provide for, and which can be filtered by category, breed, height and age.
Ongoing problem of horse neglect
The RSPCA says it has received an overwhelming amount of calls in the last year reporting neglect of 82,886 horses across England and Wales. The charity currently has facilities for around 150 horses at special equine centres but is under pressure to care for 800 horses that need new homes, with numbers rising all the time.
The reason for horses being abandoned comes down to the prolonged recession and over-breeding says the charity. As it costs at least £100 a week to keep a horse – including stabling, veterinary costs, feed and general care – many families find they cannot cope with the costs.
A spokesperson for the charity says: “Despite the gloomy economic picture, horses continue to be bred as some dealers and some horse owners believe that they can still make a profit from breeding horses. Sadly the RSPCA sometimes has to put some animals to sleep simply because there are not enough people willing to give them a home.”
How horse rescue charities can receive a free subscription to Horsemart
Charities need to simply get in touch with Horsemart with details of the horse or horses available for rehoming. They need to send a short bio about the charity and the most heartwarming success story about rescuing and/or rehoming.
The sign up is here: http://business.horsemart.co.uk/charities-go-free/
Once registered charities can advertise unlimited ads on the site, and the Horsemart team will share information to the website’s 90,000 Facebook fans.