SAND SPRINGS, Okla. - The price of hay is more than double what it was last year and even with spring around the corner relief isn't expected.
Since last summer's drought, keeping livestock and horses fed has been a challenge
In Segment 2, 2NEWS takes a look at a brand new organization trying to help.
The Mendenhall's have a new backyard pet.
"We're really not set up for a horse here," said Gene Mendenhall, Sand Springs resident.
After finding the horse they've dubbed "Shotzie" wandering their neighborhood they took her in.
"I just couldn't see an animal getting hurt so I just soon have him here in the backyard until we get place fixed for him," said Mendenhall.
They believe someone in the area just turned the horse loose. It's been a couple of months and they've made repeated attempts to find Shotzie's original owner with no luck. Now they're stuck with a new pet and a big feed bill.
"Pat has set up a deal down at the feed store for us to get feed for the horse," said Mendenhall.
Pat is Pat Penn, the founder of the newly started Hope For Horses Oklahoma.
"There's many horses like this situation here, this horse just showed up in their backyard, this is happening all over Oklahoma," said Penn.
We've reported previously about the horse over-population problem. The high price of hay, the tough economy and the low price of horses.
"I talked to veterinarians, hay producers, sale barns, I called to see just what the facts really were, I was really shocked at how bad the situation is," said Penn.
She's working to do her own small part.
"These horses are a member of their family, their pets, their companions, they love them dearly and watching your horse get weaker and weaker and starve is just a heartbreak that I'm trying to help," said Penn.
She's collecting donations and delivering them straight to feed stores, where folks who need help can pick up supplies.
"The budget's tight for everyone, but the way I'm looking at it, $10-$12 will buy a bale of hay or a sack of feed, and that will feed three to four horses their hay for a day or six to eight horses their grain for a day and it's a start," said Penn.
So far, the Hope for Horses Oklahoma program has fed nearly 200 horses with the help of donations.
Penn's just getting started, using a Facebook page to solicit donations and find folks in need of help.
The Mendenhall's may soon need a little more help.
"She's got a baby in there," said Penn.
Shotzie's eating for two.
"We will raise it I guess, I'm not going to let it starve," said Mendenhall.
Penn is still waiting to get her non-profit status from the IRS, but she has been given an ID that qualifies her donations for tax deductions.
You can find out how to help by heading to the Hope For Horses Oklahoma Facebook page.
You can also call (918) 623-0064 or toll free (877) 340-0064 for information.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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