SAVE OUR HORSES AND EQUINE THERAPY CENTERS IN PUERTO RICO

Update posted by Michelle Tinsen On Oct 22, 2017

Annie Here:
Updates have been difficult due to the continued lack of communications on the island, but here is what we have for you. Michelle is currently on the ground in Puerto Rico caring for the herd. I am in Arizona until Nov 1 and then I'll return with supplies to help Michelle. While in the states my focus has been fundraising and supply drives to help all the horses on the island.

*** FEED IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND ON ISLAND. We are having to ship grain from the mainland which is incredibly EXPENSIVE. Firstly, donations at this time will be used for this FEED related emergency and to defer these costs. ***

The hay fields have been nearly decimated across the island and we have had an incredibly hard time finding hay. Although we have been told that there may be hay production in Lajas soon, we have not received any hay to-date. Our 3 horses at the barn are being turned out as much as possible but we are nearly out of our hay stash from the storm. Much of what we had stored was ruined when the storm ripped off the backside of our hay bin. The horses at pasture are ok, but the storm stripped much of those fields down to the bare minimum so in a perfect world we would be supplementing those horses with hay.

GRAIN is nearly as hard to find. We managed to purchase 25 bags in Isabela about 2 weeks ago which we are conserving to supplement feed. Reports vary on how many feed mills are actually functioning right now but we know that all of the agro stores are OUT OF GRAIN.

Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare in the San Juan area has received grants from USEF and other racing agencies as has received a cargo plane of supplies. They have offered grain if we can get to San Juan which we are trying to arrange this week. We purchased 40 bags of grain in Miami which were shipped on a relief flight to Aguadilla. However, in Aguadilla they were either given away or lost. Triple Crown Feeds out of Miami has donated another 80 bags of grain, however the first 20 bags were supposed to have arrived on a flight into Aguadilla yesterday and they have been delayed. The continued logistical challenges we are facing are great.

We are working with a wonderful rescue agency out of Tallahassee Florida on a FEED DRIVE program to help the horses of Puerto Rico. Although we are worried about our own herd, we are desperately concerned about the hundreds of other horses we see in distress across the island. These owners are facing a massive humanitarian crisis and are trying to save the lives of their own families. We need to HELP them help their animals.

//// FEED DRIVE DETAILS ////

*These contributions will be distributed to the PUBLIC*...

We have created a streamlined program where ANYONE willing to donate can call Tractor Supply of Jacksonville FL DIRECTLY to purchase feed and they will organize these pallets and help get them to the shipyard. West Coast Ecuestre will function as an equine FOOD BANK distributing to the public from sites in Isabela and Añasco.

****The number to call to purchase FEED for donation is 904-768-7499***

If you would like to make a cash contribution you may do so through WCE PayPal : [email protected] and be sure to note it is for Feed Bank program Puerto Rico. Cost is approx $260 to ship a pallet of 40 bags of grain.

//// A $8.50 bag of grain will help feed a horse for about 2 weeks. Please consider sponsoring a month of horse feed with 2 bags of grain !! ////

Please share and pass along to any horse lovers! Help us help one another to provide care for these animals in the midst of an overwhelming humanitarian crisis.

If you are interested in donating other VET supplies or can get vet related companies to donate, I will be packing bags back from Arizona on Nov 1. You can send to me here and I will hand them out personally to people who need assistance or give them to veterinarians and rescue groups helping individuals.

Supplies needed:
*WORMER
*TICK spray/pymethrin
*BETADINE
*Triple antibiotic ointment
Tarps
Ropes
Antibacterial soap
Shampoo
Dish soap
Fly spray
Vet wrap
Gauze
Syringes
Antibiotics
Catheters & fluids
Red cell
MTG
Anti-fungal topicals
Sudocreme or diaper rash cream
Halters
Lead ropes
Brushes
Hoof picks

Shipping address for vet supplies:
Annie Turri
8542 Angel Spirit Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Thank you!

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Update posted by Michelle Tinsen On Oct 07, 2017

We have finally managed to arrange delivery of 40 bags of grain from Miami, Florida to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico!

Thank you to everyone who helped to coordinate this! We are hoping to get another shipment down there as soon as possible. Annie Turri (co-founder and director) will be staying on the mainland and will continue relief coordination and communication with potential funding organisations.

I have managed to get onto a relief flight and will be back on the island tomorrow, where I can start assessing the needs and immediate requirements of our horses and facilities.

Again, thank you for your continued donations, without these non of this would be possible,

Michelle Tinsen,

Co- founder and director.

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Update posted by Michelle Tinsen On Oct 03, 2017

We have received some news on the horses in the pasture today from one of our volunteers.

"A tree fell on part of the fence line, making an opening for the horses to escape.

Romeo, Chali and Cheveyo escaped. Apparently, Romeo and Chali had crossed the road to Miguel's property, who brought them back.

I found Cheveyo today; he was tangled in vines (but he is ok, a little shell shocked). They're all back in the pasture, and I patched the fence line as best as I could. Romeo is lame on a back leg- can't tell exactly where the injury is, but he is getting around ok. Tula and Pancho have definitely dropped weight; Tula has peeling and skin issues on her rump (assuming sunburn?). Cass looks good. Chali is pretty beat up, having some skin issues/hair loss on his lower back half. Josie is ok. I didn't check out Attabeira or Samaritana close up, but they were there. There is no hay at Trebol, and none coming. They still have grain, but not a whole lot, and they don't know when more will arrive. I bought one bag of Cuatro Tiempo today and have half a bag of Champ Horse. I'll try to buy more soon... xoxo"

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Update posted by Michelle Tinsen On Sep 30, 2017

UPDATE

Our horses have all amazingly survived through the passing of the ferocious hurricane Maria. However the worst has not begun and with this great news comes the reality of the situation ahead. Hurricane Maria hit as a catastrophic category 5 storm. It has wiped out the entire infrastructure of Puerto Rico. This means no power, no water, no sewage, no gas and so no transportation and no communication.

All of the trees in our pastures (which were densely wooded) have been flattened and lie in a massive, impenetrable mountain. All of the newly installed fencing has been completely destroyed. The whole area is unrecognizable.

The horses that are in our barn have no access to clean water and we are relying on a small creek to keep them hydrated. This creek will soon dry up and is littered with trash, debris and dead animals! We were lucky to receive a tank of water but this is already more than half way gone with there being 12 other horses stabled here. We are in urgent need of fresh water asap!

We are down to our last few bags of grain and a couple bales of hay, one of which has been stolen. People are starting to get desperate to keep their animals alive. We will do everything we can to help other horses in need, but we need the resources to do so.

Meanwhile, the rest of our horses which were turned out to pasture on another property (kindly donated to us) have access to a pond for water. This pond flooded after the hurricane and stranded the horses on the far side of it. We were unable to get close enough to inspect the herd close up due to flood waters, slabs of corrugated roofing from neighboring buildings and gigantic piles of fallen trees. But a head count from afar says that they are all standing! Hopefully these waters will soon recede allowing the horses to access more grass. Again much of the fencing has been destroyed by trees falling or ripped out by torrential winds. These horses are quickly losing weight as they are not getting their regular grain or supplements and grass is already running low. Many of our therapy horses we have rescued from prior inhumane conditions and are seniors, they need extra care!

Our partner therapy program in Isabella, Promesa de Pegasus, has been hit hard too, the eye of the storm passing directly overhead before leaving the island. We have yet to receive news on the 3 horses there, but have had word that the director, Elaine made it out safe, we will keep you updated on the outcome there. Our proceeds will also go towards ensuring their survival. Elaine has been an amazing, inspirational instructor at West Coast Ecuestre and we are all praying for her and her horses safety.

Before this storm hit we were a successful, non for profit equine therapy center and riding lesson program, we have worked hard, through sweat and tears over the last two and a half years to achieve this. We have just short of 100 clients, children and adults, many with learning or physical difficulties. We pride ourselves on educating the local population on correct and humane treatment of horses and providing services to impoverished families, individuals with disabilities and those who just love to ride. Many of our horses we have rescued from horrible circumstances and we will continue our rescuing efforts within our community to the best of our ability.

We are dedicated to serving our community again as soon as possible and we are committed to providing free services to our clients while the community rebuilds! Many children will need the horses now more than ever to help provide an outlet from the challenges of life after the hurricane.

Thank you again for all of the donations raised so far! Let's keep spreading the word and hit our new target and ensure West Coast Ecuestre will blossom once again in the new year!

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Michelle Tinsen

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I am the Co-Director of West Coast Ecuestre Inc. A non-profit dedicated to the passion, education and rescue of horses in PR

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