When the issue of no water for the Heber Wild Horses in the drought stricken Apache-Stigreaves National forest (ASNF) was brought to our attention early in May we started providing water troughs so water could be trucked in to keep the horses from dying of dehydration.
I quickly contacted Amanda Bodkin at A Home For Every Horse, a program EqWBR has belonged to for seven years and asked her if we could possibly get some help from on of the program sponsors Tractor Supply Corporation.
When I explained the situation and urgent need Amanda went to work to see what help we might be able to get.
Knowing corporate wheels can sometimes turn slow we have been purchasing troughs with donated funds and have had used ones donated to the cause too. Last Thursday we purchased four more troughs from our local Tractor Supply store in Show Low. We asked for help and donations started coming in to cover the $1008 cost of those four troughs.
Mike Radford transported two of the new tanks to specially permitted areas in Heber-Overgaard area of the ASNF for the Heber Wild Horse Freedom Alliance (HWHFA) to use.
In the Lakeside Ranger District of ASNF EqWBR and our private citizen partners Leslie and Dennis have committed to provide all the water for the wild horses in the Show Low area of the forest so we purchased two more troughs to increase capacity for the horses and other wild animals drinking this life saving water. We have contracted Lynn at White Mountain Water Haulers to fill our troughs every five days or more if needed.
(game cameras capturing horses drinking out of the troughs)
morning I got the AWESOME news from Lexie Gamble at Tractor Supply Co's Sponsorship Team, that our local Show Low store had a gift card from corporate to help with this urgent and dire drought situation in the amount of $600. WOO HOO!!!! And to make things even better we were able to bring our receipt from the prior days purchase back to the store and they re-rang it using the gift card and returning $600 to our account.
Since mid-May there have been 9 people permitted to enter the areas of the forest closed to the public because of the extreme drought. The volunteers monitor the troughs and fill water, those in the HWHFA area are using their own vehicles and water tanks to make numerous trips daily to keep the water troughs full.
Many of them were hauling water to troughs before we heard of the need and are still making daily fills including to the troughs we since loaned to HWHFA in their area. EqWBR currently has 14 troughs with a water capacity of 4400 gallons that we have supplied for these life saving efforts between areas.
After speaking with Nancy Champman, who is doing a fundraiser in lieu of birthday presents to help cover the costs of the troughs purchased last week, It was an easy decision to take the unexpected $600 that was returned to us and split it between those permitted volunteers who have been hauling water for HWHFA near Heber-Overgaard which includes 6 of our loaned troughs. (Our project partners Leslie and Dennis declined funds for fuel.)
To have a huge and caring company recognize the need and our efforts is TRULY AMAZING. We simply cant thank Lexie Gamble and Tractor Supply Co enough for going the extra mile to help this urgent situation. There local stores, Show Low and Hollbrook, AZ, have been very supportive too. Also Amanda Bodkin at A Home For Every Horse.
The caring from followers and donors has been the icing on the cake.
EqWBR including our project partners Leslie, Dennis and Lynn of White Mountain Water Haulers are pleased to be working with the staff at the ASNF Lakeside Ranger District offices and district manager Ed Collins and we plan to continue well into the future to provide in our Show Low area as long as needed.
This water project is just one of many that we get asked to assist with and your donations make it possible to say 'yes' to new needs and to meet all of our commitments to the horses, donkeys, minis for which we provide..
Water will need to be supplied until there have been enough rains to refill the natural water sources so if you would like to help EqWBR continue our efforts to provide for these wild horse, other equine in our care and new needs that arise, please consider a tax-deductible donation by clicking the link below.
You make all of this possible and we simply cannot thank you enough!
We appreciate all you do to help us help equine in need!!!!
Many, many thanks for all you do to help the rescue! Christine