People Helping Horses receives $19,500 grant from PetSmart Charities

ARLINGTON — People Helping Horses recently received a $19,500 grant from PetSmart Charities to help with an especially challenging set of horse seizures.

The grant is for hay that will help feed the remaining 25 horses that survived after People Helping Horses assisted in seizing 26 horses from pasture land in Skagit County near Mount Vernon, Wash.

Animal control and veterinarians determined that the horses were in very poor condition. So far, one 5-year-old mare has already had to be euthanized due to her condition.

In a joint effort between People Helping Horses staff, animal control and Snohomish County Sheriff's deputies, the horses were moved to a People Helping Horses facility in Arlington, where staff has been working to nurse them back to health.

Upon their rescue, all of the horses were severely malnourished and the majority of them have lice, rain rot and mud fever. Three or four of the mares are also believed to be pregnant. The lice caused severe hair loss on many of the horses, and a handful of the horses have open sores. Most of the horses were rated at a "stage two" on the Henneke scale, which is one step above death.

According to Gretchen Salstrom, founder and executive director of People Helping Horses, the rescued horses were in some of the worst shape she has seen in 10 years.

"We are out of the critical stage and we have now entered the rehabilitation stage," Salstrom said. "Thanks to the generous grant from PetSmart we are able to provide the horses with the vital nutrition they need to get healthy. We just want to see the horses happy and healthy."

People Helping Horses' 10 acres in Arlington are intended to provide a safe harbor for the most vulnerable of horses, while also preparing them for new lives. Horses arrive at the facility from a variety of situations, including county seizures and owner surrenders. People Helping Horses takes a holistic approach to the horses' well-being, by addressing their health, training and temperament in order to healing them in mind, body and spirit. For more information, log onto

PetSmart Charities is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of more than 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more, log onto or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).

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