Harrisburg, Pa. (WHTM) — April 26th is National Help a Horse Day. The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) created this special day in 2013 to help neglected and abused horses across the country.
The date goes back to the early history-in fact, the prehistory-of the society. On April 26th 1863, Henry Bergh, an American diplomat serving in Russia, stopped a cart driver from beating his fallen horse. It was just one of many acts of animal cruelty, both home and abroad, that would inspire him to devote his life to the welfare of animals. To that end he founded the ASPCA in 1866. Though most people today think of dogs and cats when they think of the ASPCA, much of their early work dealt with the welfare of horses. It’s a task that never ends, both for them and hundreds of small local horse rescues and shelters.
Every year, horses are abandoned, neglected, or abused. National Help a Horse Day acknowledges the work equine organizations do to save these at-risk horses. It also highlights how people can help, by adopting or fostering a horse, volunteering at a rescue or shelter, or by that simplest and often most useful kind of help–writing a check.