I always admired horses. I worked at the backside of Rockingham Raceways in New Hampshire, hot walking Gerry Cheevers’ thoroughbreds & worked with the track vet. I saw the other side of racing that the public never gets to see. My attraction to horses started while going to my Uncle’s cottage in the 70’s and passing a pasture full of pregnant horses. I never realized then as I do now what the significance of this was. I sadly learned. This was a PMU farm (pregnant mare urine). A place where they collect the pregnant mare’s urine to manufacture the drug Premarin (get the jist of the name? jokes on you if you take it!) . An estrogen hormone drug given to menopausal woman for hormone replacement. There is now a synthetic and non PMU organic alternative. So ladies take note. As you can imagine the foals born to these mares have no future but to the slaughter houses. This always stuck in the back of my mind. Then, lo and behold I read Kathy Bartley’s (the founder of Bear Valley Rescue) tale on how she got involved in horse rescue, and there is her story about reading a book whose plot revolved around a PMU farm. It was this injustice and wanting to spread the word about this dirty little secret about our drugs that got her on her road to horse rescue. There was no doubt Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation should be a part of her never ending struggle to right the wrongs of what we do with horses once they serve no purpose to us anymore.
Kathy and Mike Bartley have created quite the organization they can be proud of. In 2015 they achieved verification status from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the first of its kind in Canada.
Their mission is to save “useable” and healthy horses from slaughter, and then finding them good homes. Plus promote animal welfare by rescuing injured or ailing animals from auctions, feedlots and abusive situations. Click here to see their incredible before and after pictures.
As with all rescue organizations educating the public is a must. In this case, their goal is to bring attention to the public, the plight of unwanted and aging horses and other animals. They also play a role in networking with other rescue groups across Canada. This provides support throughout these networks for finding and placing distressed animals.
On a personal note, I can see the correlation between Kathy and myself, as she had dedicated to her Dad Louis Kelemen Sr.. She realizes that without his support as do I with my Dad, these 2 organizations would not exist. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE BEAR VALLEY WEBSITE >>