LITTLETON – Each year, about 100,000 horses in the United States are sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. That’s according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Jodi Messenich and her husband Paul are trying to save as many horses as they possibly can from suffering that fate.
“I hear about a lot of horses going to slaughter and I’d like to save them all,” Jodi said.
The Messenichs own a large ranch in Littleton. They have 45 horses.
“We rescued 90% of them,” Jodi said.
On Saturday, Jodi and her husband saved six more horses from the Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins. A kill-buyer purchased the horses for about $150 a piece. The Messenichs had to pay the kill-buyer $600 for each horse to save them.
“I rescued the six, sent one to the hospital to be humanely euthanized and I have the other five here that we’ll train,” Jodi said.
The five horses that survived are obese. The person who owned them fattened them up so he or she could collect a large profit at the auction.
On average, a horse at an auction goes for about 15 to 30 cents a pound. A normal horse weighs about 1,000 pounds.
Kill-buyers purchase the horses so they can send them to slaughter-houses in Canada and Mexico, where they’re destroyed for meat.
On top of the $600 purchase price for each horse, the Messenichs say they’ll have to pay even more to get them back in shape.
“A year with these guys, it’s probably a $60,000 cost,” Jodi said.
Jodi spent her life working as a marketing director and her husband worked in the telecommunications business. They’re spending their retirement funds to save as many horses as they can.
Jodi named her ranch “Zuma’s Rescue Ranch” after the first horse she rescued. To learn more about her non-profit program, head to www.zumasrescueranch.com