All My Children Wear Fur Coats was pleased to introduce Erika Gilbert, President of Grune Heidi Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization whose mission and purpose is to educate the public (not just horse lovers and horse owners) for the purpose of brining awareness of the dangers facing the magnificent breeds of American Saddlebreds and Arabian horses. The organization is focused on the prevention of abuse, neglect and the protection of American Saddlebreds and Arabian horses from the threat of slaughter.
Grune Heidi Farm Rescue (GHFR) is a proud member of the United Horse Coalition and The Homes for Horses Coalition. Erika shared with us the horrors faced by once loved horses that find themselves in kill pens where they are auctioned to the highest kill buyer, crammed into transportation and shipped out of the United States to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. She courageously shared with us her desire to have all horses avoid this gruesome end and works tirelessly to save these majestic equines through education, rehabilitation, re-homing, and sometimes, humane euthanasia.
Erika was raised in Pennsylvania in Amish country. She became well-acquainted with the New Holland Horse Auction where horses come from farms and backyards from the surrounding area. Some come from Amish farms when they can no longer meet their intended purpose. Some come from owners that offered their horses for sale on Craig’s List or other re-homing sites, that were purchased by “families” fronting for killbuyers. All deserve an opportunity to live out their lives in loved homes or be provided with the alternative of a humane death. None deserve the horror of the slaughterhouse.
Erika’s passion for horses, specifically American Saddlebreds and Arabians prompted her to create Grune Heidi Farm Rescue. She does this in addition to her full-time employment that helps support her passion. There is never enough time, never enough money and always too many horses that need her help.
Erika has developed four notable programs:
- The Rainbow Bridge Program – designed to assist people with older or lame horses who are seeking to rehome them. When possible, GHFR accepts these surrendered horses, has them evaluated by a qualified veterinarian and then either finds the horse a suitable home or if unable to be re-homed, provides them with a peaceful, humane death. This outcome is far superior to having the horse end up at the slaughterhouse. Animal Care Trust USA, in cooperation with the R.S. Pet Friendly Fund has pledged to match donations up to $5,000 to be used as funding for the Rainbow Bridge Program.
- Microchipping for horses – this program educates horse parents about the virtues of having their horse microchipped. This form of identification and registry can reunite a horse and its owner in the event of a natural disaster (such as a hurricane, tornado or flood), in the event the horse gets loose and then lost and in the event of theft. Microchipping is a safe, inexpensive way to provide identification for your loved horse.
- Owner Assistance Program – GHFR will assist horse owners attempting to re-home their horses by helping them locate approved adopters. That way, the horse owner is relieved of the responsibility of getting taken by a potential killbuyer and the horse has the best opportunity for a new loving home.
- Repurpose Program – this program assists breeders and trainers of registered stock to place horses that were bred for a specific purpose but turn out not to be suitable for that purpose. For example, a breeder might want a horse as a main ring halter prospect but the horse may be better suited for equitation or endurance. In any event, the horse gets an opportunity to live out its life without the risk of ending up in a kill pen headed for slaughter.
Animal Care Trust USA thanks all pet parents for their support of our mission, keeping loved pets in loving homes. Get your loved pet a Pet Trust today!