Bale-out Needed for Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group

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The 1993 Breeder's Cup Sprint winner - Cardmania - is living the retired life, relaxing in beautiful Tehachapi, California thanks to a 15-year-old nonprofit charity, the United Pegasus Foundation (UPF). However, this might not be the case for future racehorses as the UPF is hurting for donations due to the current economy.

The last thing we want to do is turn away horses, but with economic downfall, we've had to do just that

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The 1993 Breeder's Cup Sprint winner - Cardmania - is living the retired life, relaxing in beautiful Tehachapi, California thanks to a 15-year-old nonprofit charity, the United Pegasus Foundation (UPF). However, this might not be the case for future racehorses as the UPF is hurting for donations due to the current economy.

Founder Helen Meredith decided to take action against cruelty to equines in 1994 when she created the UPF after watching a news program on horse slaughter. Realizing the implications of the thoroughbred industry, Meredith, a former jockey and assistant trainer of champion thoroughbreds, places approximately 250 horses a year. Those that are unable to be placed or have injuries are taken care of at the UPF's Tehachapi Ranch, located two hours north of Los Angeles near Bakersfield.

In addition to injured or abandon racehorses, Meredith has also rescued hundreds of PMU foals. PMU stands for pregnant mare urine, which has been collected from pregnant mares since the 1940's and used in hormone replacement therapy drugs for women. The bi-product, thousands of unwanted baby foals that are then auctioned off and sold to meat buyers unless the UPF or a similar organization is able to negotiate with farm owners to purchase the foals or outbid meat buyers.

Helen, recognized in 2007 by People magazine as an animal rescue hero, has dedicated her life to saving horses through retirement, rehabilitation and adoption and continues to do so in an economy where donations are stagnant, hay prices keep rising and grant money is minimal. "The last thing we want to do is turn away horses, but with economic downfall, we've had to do just that," said Meredith.

UPF, like many other nonprofits, has been feeling the pinch for the past year. With adopted horses being returned because their owners are no longer able to care for them, UPF continues to take them in with open arms, even if it means going further into debt. The United Pegasus Foundation maintains their Tehachapi Ranch farm, fully equipped to take on this daunting task, which is estimated to cost about $500,000 a year to run. The UPF is depending (now more than ever) on the generosity of donors, or it could be forced to close its doors forever.

How to Help
Help the United Pegasus Foundation stay afloat by making a tax-deductible donation today. Your gift enables the United Pegasus Foundation to provide food, shelter, transportation, medical attention and other assistance to rescued horses. Contributions can be sent to the United Pegasus Foundation, P.O. Box 173, Tehachapi, CA 93581 or made by phone by calling 626-773-6016. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://www.UnitedPegasus.com.

About the United Pegasus Foundation:
Founded in 1994 and located in Tehachapi, California, the United Pegasus Foundation (UPF) is a 501(ac) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and retiring horses. UPF has become one of the nation's largest thoroughbred retirement organizations, saving thousands of former racehorses from slaughter. The United Pegasus Foundation is a charitable organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of donors to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.unitedpegasus.com.

Media contact: Nicole Bailey/323-255-9178

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