Mardi Gras parade horses find new homes thanks to adoption program
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) -
UPDATE - MAR. 7
The Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) says Nike, Corona, Champagne, Cheerio, and 12 others horses have found new homes thanks to their adoption program. Four horses will remain at Cascade Stables to be used in their riding program.
“We are pleased that so many people around our state and country rallied to provide great homes for these majestic horses, and they deserve no less. We heard from folks from dozens of states, all cheering for the horses in their online comments and hoping that they’d be adopted. Thousands of folks from around the country were following the story of these horses and all seemed relieved, as are we, that all 20 horses were re-homed. It’s the perfect way to end another successful Carnival season,” said Jeff Dorson, director of HSL.
The total number of horses adopted over the years thanks to this program is now 52.
Brian Henderson adopted two horses in 2018 and worked as an integral part of this year’s program.
“For those of us that choose to donate our time to animal rescue, there are few greater rewards than seeing the face of these horses with their new owners. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help adopters through the application process and deliver some of these horses to their new homes. The moment the horses arrive, you can instantly feel the peace that comes over them. The adoption program provides these horses with the opportunity to overcome their past with an incredible future ahead of them," Henderson said.
Cascade Stables, which is located in Audubon Park, has rented horses out to various Mardi Gras krewes for many years now. Due to the demand for horses in parades, Cascade Stables buys more than a dozen horses each year from a local horse broker. Previously, those horses have either been adopted after Carnival season, sold back to the broker, auctioned at sale barns, or even sold for slaughter, HSL says.
To prevent these sorts of transactions, HSL launched an adoption program in 2017. Volunteers with HSL maintain a Facebook page with profiles of the horses up for adoption. Volunteers meets with prospective families to determine if the adoption is a good fit. All fees associated with the program are donated to Cascade Stables to help them care for their horses.
HSL says the program was been very successful, with 32 horses adopted over the past two years. Since the program was created, HSL says not a single horse has been sold back to the broker or sold for slaughter.
This year, Barney’s Farm Sanctuary in Washington Parish is providing additional resources for the program, including manpower and logistical assistance.
“This program is truly a life-saver for these wonderful creatures, some of whom have faced uncertain futures in the past. They serve as important parts in our Carnival season, so it’s necessary and fair that we provide them with safe harborage and care after they have provided us with weeks of entertainment and frivolity,” said Jeff Dorson, director of HSL.
“Cascade Stables is so grateful to the Humane Society of Louisiana for partnering with us on this fabulous Mardi Gras Horse Adoption Program,” said Barbe Smith, director of Cascade Stables.
Sixteen horses are up for adoption this year and can be viewed online here.
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