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Blue Cross goes direct

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National pet charity Blue Cross is providing a Home Direct service to help owners find suitable new homes for their horses if they can no longer keep them. The charity hopes the scheme, which avoids the need to use the charity’s busy centres, will help provide the horses with a secure future, preventing them from potentially becoming a welfare problem.

The introduction of Home Direct for horses follows the success of the national pet charity’s home direct for small animals which was introduced in 2010. Homing horses direct can reduce stress for both horse and owner and means the charity can keep valuable space free at its centres, ready for any neglect and abandonment cases that are in urgent need of expert care.

Equine charities are currently receiving large numbers of calls every month from horse owners seeking alternative homes for their animals. There are over one million horses and donkeys in the UK and the charitable sector has limited space available and must prioritise welfare and rescue cases. Home Direct adds another string to Blue Cross’s rehoming bow to help them support the ongoing care of even more horses.

The system is simple and is already providing to be very effective with almost 100 horses helped since it was launched for horses on a pilot scheme basis back in 2015. Every horse is assessed thoroughly by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then advertised on the charity’s website. Once a potential new owner has been found Blue Cross will arrange and oversee initial visits. If it’s a good match, the horse will then be rehomed. All the home visits and checks will be completed as if the horse was a centre horse.

“We receive daily emails from owners who are unable to keep their horses any longer,” said Emily Lambert, Rehoming Coordinator at Blue Cross. “The reason may be anything from the owner’s failing health to horses that cannot no longer be ridden. We also have frequent calls from owners looking for help and advice on their horses and sometimes just listening and talking gives people the peace of mind that they are making the right decision.

“We would much rather people approach us whilst their horses are still healthy than risk them being passed form pillar to post and potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation and making more work for charities,” added Emily. “The great thing about Home Direct is we are helping people as much as we are helping horses.”

Blue Cross is now offering their Home Direct service to other equine welfare charities that don’t specialise in rehoming.

Any horse can be considered for Home Direct, as long as they pass a health check and are not on any long term medication. If you would like more information on the Home Direct Scheme please visit [email protected]

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