CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In the wake of ongoing drought conditions across the High Plains, leading to limited hay and higher prices, Dove Creek Equine Rescue announced an emergency campaign with the aim to provide hay over the summer season to local horses.

According to Dove Creek Equine Rescue, the “When in Drought” emergency campaign was created to help navigate the higher feed and hay costs of the year that have compounded the stress of less available pasture. The posted goal of the campaign is to raise $20,000 in 10 weeks in order to help combat the higher hay costs. The campaign began on June 8 and is expected to run through Aug. 17.

“We want to continue taking in as many unwanted horses in the Panhandle as possible,” said Dove Creek’s campaign announcement, “but we need your help!”

“During the Rescue’s ten-year history, the horses have been able to graze on the rich pasture on the ranch from April through October, which is why we have been able to operate on reduced hay costs during those months,” said Laurie Higgins-Kerley, the Dove Creek Executive Director, “Our herd of rescued horses have 500 acres to graze, but with no rain, that goes away. This is the first year that I can remember that they cannot graze and receive nutrition because of the lack of rain.”

Dove Creek Equine Rescue released a tier list of possible one-time or recurring gift amounts that supporters could commit in order to assist the organization in reaching its goal:

  • $26 buys two square bales of hay, enough to feed four horses for one day
  • $52 buys enough to feed eight horses for one day
  • $104 buys enough to feed 16 horses for one day
  • $135 buys a 1,000-pound round bale, enough to feed the organization’s herd of 30 horses for two days

Dove Creek Equine Rescue thanked participants for their help, and has made a donation page available for the campaign on its website.

As noted on the organization’s website, the Dove Creek Equine Rescue began in 2012 with the purpose of reducing the population of unwanted horses – domestic horses that are no longer needed or useful, or whose owners are no longer capable of providing financial and physical care.

Located at 16201 Gordon Cummings Road in Canyon, its officials said the ranch has become a place where horses are rescued, rehabilitated, retrained, and rehomed, with the capacity to host a herd of 30.

Previous efforts to raise funds for feed costs by the Dove Creek Equine Rescue included the “Hero of the Herd” campaign in 2021. Further, the organization regularly hosts events meant to connect with the community and give back, including “Meet a Horse Day” at the ranch in May.

For other producers across the High Plains that have been impacted by drought and wildfire conditions, the Texas Department of Agriculture hosts a “Hay Hotline” on its website, described by the department as being available for agricultural producers to locate forage and hay supplies for sale. The United States Department of Agriculture has also made resources available on its website for those seeking help recovering from disasters such as wildfires and drought.