Sunday, February 15, 2009

Its been a Good Day!

Usually I can't sleep because of the atrocities that I have read about, they keep me up all night with horrifying pictures in my head. I stay up trying to figure out how to make it better, just knowing if I say or do the right thing that maybe I can make a difference. So, I write about it usually posting about the bad things I have heard.

Tonight I can't sleep for a very different reason, the past few days have been so good that I just don't want the day to end. So, I thought it only right that I share it just like I would the bad.

First, personally it has been a good day. My family and I usually spend Valentines Day together and this year was no different. My hubby and I went to the movies, saw a good one and the popcorn was fresh (trust me that isn't always the case). The kids didn't fight today which was beyond a miracle. The critters, including the horses, were all frisky and funny wanting to play and just seemed to want to entertain us, which they did. Add to all that with the fact that everyone is happy and healthy, it was a great day personally.

Second, the bill to protect the mustangs, that I have been waiting for, was introduced. As my previous post said it looks like it is a good bill. I was worried about it not containing enough to help prevent the absolute destruction of our heritage species, the mustang, but it seems like it covers most of our wish list.

Third, the AHDF has been trying to figure out a way to help the wild horses and burros and we had an attorney come forward to help us. I had a great meeting with them late Friday and we are awaiting the official agreement from them to represent the AHDF in a suit against the BLM. We all, the attorneys and the AHDF, had a meeting of the minds on how to proceed and what path to take. The attorneys are going to be working pro-bono (providing their services for free), but we are going to be looking at legal expenses that we will have to raise, but we can think about that later. It is just great news that even the legal community is seeing the injustices to our horses and seeking us out and not waiting for us to bring things to them. So, that alone would have made Friday a good day, but add to it the bill and Friday was a truly awesome Friday the 13th!

Fourth, we decided to attend the Homes for Horses Conference and it is being held in Las Vegas in April. A fun city that I am looking forward to visiting again but better than just that it is being combined with the Animal Care Expo so I can visit with a few of my friends from the equine community as well as the humane community. It isn't often that one can combine so much into a single trip. I love the information we share and what I learn at each one of these types of events, so it is exciting to be able to go to them no matter where they are.

If anyone doesn't know what the Expo is about it is the annual conference (April 6-9) for humane advocates put on by the HSUS. It combines many different workshops that those in the shelter and advocate community can really use. Last year they added equine workshops, which they will have this year as well and it is open registration, so I hope that anyone who can attend will and they will say hi to me while they are there. The Homes for Horses Conference is limited to those invited and is the 9th and 10th of April. So, while it isn't an open event I hope others will join the coalition and attend subsequent events (there may be space for new member organizations, but space it limited so if anyone wants to join and go I suggest that they register soon). AHDF is an original member, attending the first conference back in 2007. The purpose of the Coalition is to bring together interested organizations to make the equine welfare community better (accreditation), disprove the unwanted horse myth, battle horse slaughter and to support one another. I was unable to attend last year, although I did make it to the Expo, so I am looking forward to attending this year.

Fifth, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission used to give incentive funds to the Walking Horse industry, but they have decided to withhold funds because of the many violations on soring. They have left the door open to reapply when the clean up their act. This isn't the first good news to come from the Thoroughbred racing community over the last few months, many tracks have implemented no slaughter policies and are moving toward being more humane. This isn't to say that they have done all they should to make horse racing a perfect place for the equine athlete, but at least they are working toward it, unlike the Quarter Horse industry.

Sixth, the recent letter released by former Mayor of Kaufman, Paula Bacon, on the issue of horse slaughter. The AHDF has provided Congress with documents for years showing that the horse slaughter industry is not only horrific to the horses but to local communities where they are located. However, often people assume, incorrectly, that we don't know what we are talking about. Ms. Bacon's letter speaks from experience and cites the same documents we have provided. In a time when several states are considering opening plants, even with a federal bill prohibiting it being considered, the letter is timely and well written. Of course, knowing Ms. Bacon personally, I knew that any letter like this would be great and compelling. I hope everyone in states where this is being considered will take advantage of the letter to show why nobody should want such an industry in their communities.

Seventh, and last, I have had some great calls by the public about horse welfare. As soon as a year ago I would get calls with questions from people who had never heard of slaughter or the plight of the wild mustangs and burros, but now am getting informed calls asking what they can do. To some this isn't a big deal, but to me it shows that the public is getting even better informed which makes passing laws to protect our horses easier. The more the public knows the better and the more support we see for the pending bills. Of course, I ALWAYS appreciate the calls and emails with questions and enjoy talking to them as well. How else is one going to learn, but I also like mentoring those who already know the issues on how to make a difference. Don't forget about the Legislative Guide that I just wrote to help guide the average person through the legislative process and tips on how to lobby. I hope that everyone will become informed on the issues, but if you have questions always feel free to ask, no question is stupid. The only folks I don't like talking to are those who don't want to learn or hear about the issues, but want to argue. I won't argue with you, so don't even try.

Like I said it has been a great couple of days, so it isn't crazy to not want them to end. Too often I have bad days and share them, so I wanted to pass along the good as well.

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