Dozens of horses are clearing hurdles of neglect, abuse and malnutrition thanks to a local rescue group.
The B.C. Interior Horse Rescue Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help neglected, abused or surrendered horses, and rehabilitate and place them in healthy and loving homes.
Formed in 2009 by a few women seeing the need for such a service, BCIHRS started in Vernon but has since moved to a larger location in Kelowna.
Volunteers like Vernon’s Karrie Wurmann, who was riding a horse at the age of five, share an immense passion for horses.
And its such volunteer efforts that go into assisting the two to four horses received every month.
“Probably in the last eight months, we’ve had at least 20 to 30 horses,” said Wurmann, who joined the society two years ago and recalls some of the incidents.
“It’s sad. You come to these places and it just breaks your heart sometimes.”
As tear-jerking as some situations can be, the volunteers band together to provide the love and support the horses need and deserve.
Whether it’s a neglected and abused mare that is worked with daily to build up her trust in people, or a farm of starving horses that is re-nourished to the point that their ribs are no longer countable.
“We just try and rehabilitate them and we adopt them out as well,” said Wurmann. “Our ultimate goal is they will stay with their family that adopted them out.”
The society also takes horses that are both healthy and well-loved, but circumstances have prevented owners from being able to keep them.
Along with loving homes, the society is seeking support in the form of feed or financial donations to enable the rescue efforts to continue.
The society also hosts fundraisers and events throughout the year.
A work bee/finish the fence gathering gets underway Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1875 McKinley Rd. in Kelowna.
“We are building shelters for the horses as well as replacing the fencing. The work will all be done by our volunteers and anyone else who we can round up,” said Wurmann.
“We’re looking for people who have an interest in horses and who have some free time to help.
“We will also be having a barbecue as well to feed everyone who shows up.”
For more information visit www.bcihrs.com or call 250-260-5344.