Using a grant from the ASPCA, this equine rescue and sanctuary started a “Keeping Horses at Home” program to provide temporary help to people struggling through hard times who had a history of taking good care of their animals.
To find these horses in need, Safe Haven began distributing their hay assistance flyers at local social service agencies. “Part of human nature is our pride, and it is sometimes hard to swallow that pride and ask for help,” said Board Treasurer Kerri Downs. “By going to the unemployment office and health and human service offices we were reaching people who are already asking for help.”
Since starting the program, Safe Haven has helped seven horse owners—five of whom heard about the program from flyers left at human welfare offices.
That’s a substantial return on investment when you consider it only took about 30 minutes for Downs to forge a relationship with the agencies.
Now You Try It:
Downs suggests stressing how the program helps people an agency is already serving. “The best way I found to approach the agencies is to walk in, flyers in hand with a smile on your face,” she said.
Letting an agency know that the program takes more stress off clients is very important considering many horse owners will feed their animals before they pay bills, she added.