The Board of Directors of Brooke USA has approved additional grant disbursements from its COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund to organizations in need, both in the United States and abroad. The Fund was created last year to respond to the crisis which has caused the abandonment of horses, donkeys, and mules, and led nonprofit equine organizations to the brink of collapse. With grant funding, Brooke USA can provide financial relief to purchase feed, secure veterinary care and help owners who are facing a temporary economic crisis keep their equines.
The COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund positions Brooke USA to immediately help where the need is greatest. To support grant funding, Brooke USA is asking for contributions from friends and supporters. Donations will be incorporated into Brooke USA’s Power of ONE campaign which strives to raise $1 million in ONE year and recognizes that ONE single gift can have a profound impact on the lives of many equines. The Power of ONE is about friends and supporters coming together to join as ONE, the collective ONE. To donate to Brooke USA’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, visit https://www.brookeusa.org/covid19-crisis.
“Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated a series of dramatic social, political, and environmental changes. Yet the focus remains resolutely on humans, leaving animals largely out of the picture,” explained Emily Dulin, Chief Executive Officer of Brooke USA. Equine nonprofits in the United States and abroad, as evidenced by Brooke USA’s grant disbursements last year and during the first quarter of 2021, prove that horses, donkeys, and mules remain at-risk of abandonment, opportunistic adoption, and even violence.
As an example, KHOU reported last year that the Houston SPCA investigated 187 animal abandonment cases between March and July, not including cruelty cases. The Houston SPCA attributed the 20 percent increase in abandonment cases to the dramatic shift in people’s circumstances due to the pandemic. “When people are affected by a recession, lack of jobs, and inability to pay their rent,” said Katherine Kaneb, Brooke USA’s Chair of the Board of Directors, “they can’t care for a horse and solutions are required. Brooke USA is committed to provide at least some relief.”
In August last year, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released data estimating that 4.2 million pets would be entering poverty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a 21% increase from pre-pandemic estimates. The total number of animals living in poverty could rise to more than 24.4 million dogs, cats, horses, and other animals.
“With many state restrictions lifted, almost 25 percent of the population vaccinated and some feeling of normalcy in the United States, we cannot forget the global impact of COVID-19,” noted Kaneb. Global deaths have surpassed 3 million, according to the latest data from John Hopkins University.
As the health and human toll grows, the economic damage is already evident and represents the largest economic shock the world has experienced in decades. The June 2020 Global Economic Prospects suggest that the pandemic is expected to leave lasting scars through lower investment, an erosion of human capital through loss of work and schooling, and fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages. Kaneb noted that “these economic downturns are reversing years of progress toward achieving the United Nations development goals and deeply affecting the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules and thus, catapulting tens of millions of people back into poverty.”
For specific inquiries about Brooke USA’s COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund, or general questions about Brooke USA, contact CEO Emily Dulin at Emily.Dulin@BrookeUSA.org.
The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and the Caribbean by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.
Brooke USA accomplishes this through a holistic approach to funding which includes capacity building, sustainability programming, female empowerment, and international advocacy.
Brooke USA connects private philanthropists with their passion for helping relieve the suffering of working equines and their owners.
Brooke USA raises funds to support a wide variety of programs for working horses, donkeys and mules to help them become (and remain) healthy and happy now and in the long-term, which also benefits the very poor families who depend on those animals to help them earn a living. For more information visit www.BrookeUSA.org.
For more information, contact
Emily J. Dulin