For Immediate Release
July 29, 2016
Albuquerque, N.M.- New Mexicans proved they care about the state’s equines in an unlikely place — their income tax returns. On July 25, 2016, the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) mailed disbursement checks totaling $29,493 to eight state-licensed horse shelters and sanctuaries. The money came from the NMLB’s Equine Shelter Rescue Fund (ESRF), where voluntary state tax donations are deposited to help horse rescue and retirement facilities care for many of the state’s homeless or needy horses.
The NMLB, New Mexico’s licensed horse shelters and sanctuaries, and Animal Protection New Mexico (APNM) jointly recommended where the funds should be allocated to assist with feed costs incurred in rescuing and rehabilitating equines across New Mexico. Horse shelters and sanctuaries receive no other public funding and are almost entirely privately supported. As a result, the ESRF makes a meaningful impact on their ability to care for needy horses in the state.
“No matter their background, each of the neglected or abused animals that comes into our facility needs to eat,” said Susan Hemmerle, director of The Horse Shelter of Cerrillos. “The greatest expenditure we face in the horse rescue community is for hay and other feed, and the Equine Shelter Rescue Fund is a vital tool to help us offset these costs.”
Located on the state’s PIT-D tax form, the ESRF allows any taxpayer to easily donate a portion or all of their tax refund to assist licensed horse rescue facilities. In the spring of 2016, horse shelter representatives, NMLB employees, and Animal Protection New Mexico (APNM) staff reviewed the funding requests and made suggestions for fund distribution. With need always exceeding the available money, this oversight panel based its recommendations on each facility’s feed costs, capacity and scope of mission. On May 31, 2016, the NMLB Board of Directors unanimously approved the oversight panel’s recommendations for ESRF distribution.
“As we’ve learned through our partners in the horse rescue community, it’s not just a matter of dividing up the funds based on the numbers of horses at each facility—each facility faces its own challenges based on its herd size, rehabilitative needs and the reach of their services,” said Phil Carter, APNM’s campaigns manager, who served on the ESRF oversight panel. “Through the distribution system we’ve created, we can ensure a fair and effective use of donations to support needy horses for years to come.”
The New Mexico state legislature established the ESRF in 2013, when the bill was championed by Senator George Muñoz (D-Gallup) and spearheaded by Animal Protection Voters (APV), the lobbying arm of APNM, and the state’s horse rescues. The ESRF provides an easy and effective way for citizens to help horses in their communities, and is just one of many initiatives that APNM and APV promotes to provide New Mexico’s equines a safety net from the foreign horse slaughter pipeline.
For the 2016 tax season, APNM worked with numerous accountant and tax preparer offices across the state to promote the ESRF—but individuals don’t have to wait to file their taxes again to donate to this worthy cause. Contributions to the Equine Shelter Rescue Fund are accepted year-round. Donations can be sent to mail checks to the NMLB’s headquarters at 300 San Mateo NE Albuquerque, NM 87108-1500. For more information on contributing to the Fund, contact APNM at (505) 265-2322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Palmer, Communications Director, APNM
505-265-2322, ext. 31
Equine Program Contact:
Phil Carter, Campaigns Manager, APNM
The Humane Society of the United States