Volunteers needed for 'Help a Horse' day

Apr 11, 2014
Photo by: File HELP A HORSE DAY — Volunteers are still needed for 'Help a Horse' Day on April 26.

On April 26, 1866, in New York City, Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse. He saw something wrong, and he did something right. His action resulted in the first successful arrest for the mistreatment of a horse. Thus, the ASPCA selected this date to commemorate his actions.  Horses have been central to the ASPCA’s work since its founding 148 years ago.

Saturday, April 26, is the second annual National Help a Horse Day. The ASPCA will be offering five $10,000 prizes for the best celebration of the day.

“Even though STAR Ranch is a small fish in a small pond, we do a lot of good for horses around here … and now even five donkeys!” said Mike Rodriguez, ranch foreman.

Karen Owens, president, hopes that the community support and diversity of groups walking, riding and dancing in the parade will make the needed impression on the ASPCA that, from a percentage standpoint, STAR Ranch is just as important as some of the ‘big guys’ and will put Waynesville on the ASPCA map.

Twenty-four volunteers are needed to gather attendance signatures, one of the parameters of success by the ASPCA.

“If each volunteer fills in his or her 60 lines, that will give us over 1400 signatures,” said Melissa Orr, the person spearheading the drive. “That should make an impression!”

Feed buckets will be carried to ‘help feed the horses’ by the Haywood County Special Olympics Equestrian Team and A Small Miracle.  And, of course, the ever popular ‘pooper scoopers’ are needed in the finale of the parade, where Susan and Hank Kumpf, representing Haywood Spay/Neuter will be performing their duties.

“It really ‘takes a village’ to make things happen,” said Debra Hodge, of the STAR Ranch board of directors.  “And Waynesville is a wonderful village.”

To join the parade route, volunteers and participants should meet at noon in the parking lot of the Methodist church.  There is no entry fee.  Donations are welcome and are tax deductible, whereas entry fees are not.  Call 400-4940 to reserve a spot in the parade.