Making hay while the sun shines is an old adage that is familiar to farmers. Making money to care for horses – once abused or neglected – is a full time proposition at New England’s largest horse shelter, the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. Using a part of that money to make and buy hay each year is just part of what we do. Thanks to the hundreds of generous people, private foundations, and businesses who donated to the 2015 Buy a Bale fundraising campaign, the goal has been exceeded and the astounding sum $103,700 has been raised since the first week of March.
Without help from so many folks, it wouldn’t be possible to operate Maine’s preferred horse shelter. Thank you to everyone who donated to help the horses. From school children raising money by holding bake sales and bottle drives to philanthropic foundations, the Buy a Bale fund-raiser gives everyone a chance to help the horses. A $5.00 donation feeds a horse for an entire day and almost everyone can find a way to donate $5.00. Hundreds of people support the Society’s Buy a Bale campaign each year. We are so grateful to each of them. Special thanks to a group of five area youngsters who set up shop with a lemonade stand and raised $750.00 for the horses. Thank you, too, to the Narragansett Number One Foundation, which gave $5,000 in support of the Buy a Bale 2015 campaign. To those who donated in memory of loved ones no longer with us, thank you for your kindness. A very special thank you to the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. Our friends at “Call Joe” not only donated a generous sum to the cause, they also put Buy a Bale on the famous Time & Temperature Building sign in downtown Portland, Maine.
There are many expenses associated with growing, making, and storing nearly 20,000 bales of hay. Everything from fertilizer for the fields and equipment that makes and moves the hay to barn maintenance and plenty of manpower to stack the bales into the lofts costs money. One of the most important aspects of making good hay is timing – getting the hay mowed, made, and baled when it is most nutritious. The 2015 hay at River Road might just be the best ever! This year’s hay crop is being made by the O’Briens of Baker Brook Farm who generously donate a portion of their production costs. We give special thanks to Steve, Allan, and all the helpers in the hay making process. Thanks to them, the horses at the MSSPA are eating some of the best forage this side of hay heaven. Oh, yes, and, a shout out to Mother Nature for cooperating in the process, too!
Today the Society is caring for 58 horses in various stages of recovery from abuse or neglect. Some are healthy, trained, and awaiting adoption into new permanent homes; some are still being rehabilitated. The Society also provides sanctuary services for the animals who are geriatric or suffer from chronic health issues, allowing them to live out their days at the River Road farm. You are invited to meet the horses and enjoy the sweet smell of success that is in the air at the Society. During July and August the farm is open to the public from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily; all other days the farm invites public visitors from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Whether you are a local or a visitor to Maine, the Society is a wonderful destination for a picnic or stroll through the barns on any afternoon. The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals is not a state agency; it is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity and receives no federal, state or local government funding. The Society is entirely funded by membership dues, donations, bequests, grants, and fund-raising activities. The Society does not charge for its services. It provides more than one million dollars in services annually to Maine taxpayers and salvation to abused animals.