KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Horse Haven of Tennessee launched a program to help horse owners facing financial difficulties care for their animals. From a food pantry for horses, to help with medical care, organization leaders said the assistance is already making a difference.
"We know that sometimes people have to make tough choices between an unexpected medical bill or feeding their horse, and we know that if we want to pursue a vision of a state free of neglect and abuse, we can start by serving horse owners," said Bethany Schwarz, Horse Haven of Tennessee Development Director.
The program is called H.O.P.E. and stands for horse haven outreach programs for equine.
The program will provide low cost or free services like Coggins tests, castrations, vaccinations, and deworming as well as feed and hay assistance. So far, one woman has already benefited from the fledgling H.O.P.E. program.
"More than anything else, to be able to start that process and have the community come behind us and rally for the lady, I think that meant more to us than just taking the hay, being able to see her take a deep breath and say 'I'm gong to be able to care for them and everything will be okay'," said Jocelyn Smith, Horse Haven of Tennessee Equine Manager.
This coming year Horse Haven of Tennessee is hoping to host two medical and castration clinics in partnership with the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine.
These clinics will provide free vaccinations, free dewormer, $20 Coggins tests, and $25 castrations with a free microchip.
Horse Haven said the program is all about working to keep horses with their loving owners. To learn more about the program, go here.