Some Manitoba animal rescue organizations say rising inflation that drives up the cost of gas and food is also making it difficult to care for vulnerable animals.
Sherri Anderson is President of The Barefoot Ranch Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, a non-profit organization located north of Teulon, Manitoba. provide abandoned horses, donkeys and mules with food, shelter and care until they can be rehomed.
Anderson said the cost of feed continues to fluctuate out of control, while hay prices are also unpredictable.
“Last year was really tough because the balls were $100 each. Now the prices are a bit lower. We’re looking at around $70 per round bale,” she explained.
In its latest monthly Consumer Price Index report, Statistics Canada said grocery store prices rose at the fastest rate since 1981, with prices up 10.8% from a year ago. a year.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices rose 22.1% in August from a year ago, but are down 18.8% since June.
Anderson said each horse costs about $200 a month, barring medical complications, which the organization also covers. The ranch currently cares for a total of 58 horses.
Anderson’s growing expenses are further exacerbated by an increase in ranch buyouts. She said a lot of people have to downsize their herds because they can’t afford to keep that many.
“We received a lot more this year than any other year,” she said.
Rehoming horses has also become increasingly difficult, as people with room for them are also more cash-strapped and therefore less likely to adopt.
To offset their rising costs, the ranch relies on fundraising and donations from the public. Anderson also works two jobs.
“I would say for every $1 donation we receive, I put $2 out of my pocket,” she said.
If adoption does not resume, Anderson fears they may have to close their doors to gain admission.
The organization aims to be registered as a charity soon, so that it can accept larger government grants and corporate sponsorships.
In the meantime, Anderson hopes the fundraiser will keep the organization going.
“I just want to make sure the horses are all safe and taken care of. Whatever it takes, I’m ready to do it.
DONATIONS DOWN 40 TO 50 PER CENT
Lindsay Gillanders, a volunteer with Manitoba Underdog Rescue, said their organization receives a lot of supplies, so rising costs aren’t as much of a concern for their nonprofit.
However, donations have dropped drastically since inflation began to soar.
“Trying to manage gasoline at $1.70 a liter and corn costing a fortune, our donations are down sharply, which is understandable because people have to pay their bills before they can help charities and organizations like ours,” Gillanders told CTV News Winnipeg.
She estimates that donations have dropped by 40 to 50%. As a result, the rescue has had an intake freeze, meaning it can only accept the most acute cases.
“We really try to make sure that we maximize our impact and that we network dogs that are a bit more or less difficult for other partners and rescue organizations,” she said.