CT Checkup: Animal welfare organization in East Hampton struggling to stay afloat during pandemic

Animals and Wildlife

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue in East Hampton is feeling the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The mission of the volunteer-run nonprofit is to save and care for horses that were neglected, abused, or that could not be provided for by their owners. 

Now, it’s more difficult than ever to carry out that mission. 

“Nonprofits right now are all struggling because of people’s job losses and financial difficulties, not being able to donate,” said founder Stacey Golub. 

As an animal welfare organization, the rescue is deemed essential by the state. But like many other businesses, day-to-day operations have not been easy. 

Over $1,100 is spent each week just to feed the horses and during these uncertain times, providing this is getting harder each day.

“What we mainly are hurting for are funds,” said Karen Stein, a volunteer at the farm. “We have a fundraiser that usually happens in May. [Now] it’s not going to happen. Our donations are down because everybody is stretched so thin with the Coronavirus.” 

Two additional fundraisers were canceled, which is devastating for the farm because those are their main source of income.  

Now, basic operational costs–including horse feed and hay–are their biggest obstacle. 

To combat this, the rescue started an online fundraiser which has already raised over $3,000. To donate: https://www.ctdraftrescue.com/index.html

“It all comes back to community,” said Golub. “The East Hampton community has been wonderful.” 

While they’ve had to close their public visiting hours, Golub says that people in the community are still stepping up and it’s this support that gives her hope. 

“We rescue horses but we also rescue people. We have support from people that feel like these horses are their own,” she said. “We feel confident that we’ll survive this, there’s no other option.”

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