It's no secret that Willie Nelson loves horses. He's rescued around 75 in the last ten years or so alone. The country music icon will rescue retired show horses, racehorses and working horses so that they don't get sold to slaughterhouses or other poor living conditions. He adopts from a rescue called Habitat for Horses, which is an organization that rescues horses even while they're on the way to these slaughterhouses. So almost half of the horses he's personally rescued were on their way there. He works to rehabilitate them on his ranch in Austin, Texas which is named Luck Ranch where they can run free after they've healed. He attributes the name to the horses being lucky that they didn't make it all the way to their deaths and now can live happy, healthy lives on the ranch.
He says that he hand feeds the horses twice a day and treats them with lots of care and attention. He's also written a special song for his horses and horses everywhere in America that is on his most recent album. He also partnered with Habitat for Horses to make horses available for adoption. They're called Willie Signature Horses. The non-profit organization also helps to educate people about the safety and wellbeing of horses. They also help to bring young adults together with horses so that these at-risk youth can benefit from the connection with the horses.
Willie has also been working with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), an animal welfare group in D.C to help these poor horses. The horse slaughter plants that were in the US have been voted out, but there is not a complete ban yet. So the horses are being transported to Mexico and Canada. Even the federally protected wild horses are at risk of being slaughtered since they are being pushed off of the land for mining and farming purposes. As many as 40,000 wild horses are in captivity, which is more than are wild. So it's a good thing Willie is using his platform to put an end to all of this, so these poor animals don't have needless suffering.
Horses are such beautiful and loving animals that deserve the best lives possible. They don't deserve to be carted off in trucks to be taken to slaughter. They deserve to live in loving and caring environments with access to fresh water and food, as well as a place to run and exercise. It's so great that Willie is taking charge and doing something about this crisis and you can too, but going to the Animal Welfare Institute and contacting your rep in the area you live in to put a ban on bringing these horses to slaughterhouses.
Not only is it really sad that they want to do away with these horses, but horse meat also is not good for human consumption either. Most horses are given antibiotics, medicine and ointments that go into their bloodstream and would not be healthy for humans to eat. It's a very sad situation all around, so if you can't adopt a horse in need, you can always stand up for them by talking to your representatives about changing the laws surrounding their unnecessary slaughter. You can also check out the Luck Reunion that Willie puts on once a year on the ranch where people can come out and see some of their favorite bands play and support a great cause. It's usually held in the spring, so keep your eyes peeled for next year's concert.
More about this story can be found at: Animal Welfare Institute