Well, we got through the first LOPE Event here in Las Vegas. LOPE, which stands for "Las Vegas Outreach Program for Equines", was put on by the Clark County Animal Control, the NV Dept of AG, the Nevada Horse Council, Desert Pines Equine Clinic, Clark County, and Shiloh Horse Rescue.
Over 30 horses from the community were brought to LOPE for low cost vaccinations, brand inspections, Coggins, and free micro chipping. All went smoothly and everyone was happy.
One part of the event that I have not posted about was that low cost Euthanasia was also offered to old and crippled horses in the community. In these hard economic times, LOPE wanted to offer an affordable way for horses to be humanely put to sleep. This procedure can run horse owners anywhere from $250-$500.00, but at LOPE, pre qualified horses were euthanised for $60.00. There were 6 horses that were accepted.
We had strict guidelines for the horses- they had to be over 20 years of age and have a chronic condition, like arthritis, which caused them pain and affected their quality of life. Each horse was first thoroughly evaluated by the vet to make sure they fit the qualifications, then they were signed over to the state of NV. Shiloh and our wonderful volunteers, as well as other LOPE members cared for the six horses on Sunday and into Monday when they were humanely put down. Once they were accepted by LOPE, all of the horses were kept on pain medication to keep them comfortable, they were stuffed full of treats and feed, they were groomed until they shone, they were taken on walks, were free fed all of the hay and feed they wanted, and all of them were shown great love and compassion. Some of the owners wanted to be present to say good bye to their horses on Monday morning, others did not want to be there when they were being put down, so Shiloh was there for them.
This was an extremely difficult thing for all of us to do. But, we all need to step up and make euthanasia more affordable and accepted. If we want slaughter to stop, we ALL need to give viable options to horse owners, especially in these difficult times.
Shiloh- Jill, Sally, Daria, Robin, Sharil, Sandi and John were all present for each horse as they went to sleep. Every single one of us cried. But these six horses went to sleep with dignity, in private, and had carrots in their mouths.
Spook, Oscar, Aztec, Speedy, Lonesome, and Whiz- we only knew you for two days, but we grew to love you and are happy we could help you pass in comfort. Even though we had just met, you will always be remembered as a part of the Shiloh family.