The Georgia Equine Rescue League, Ltd., aka GERL, was founded in 1993. Our mission is to help find solutions to the growing problem of starved, abused, and neglected equine in the state of Georgia. GERL believes that through education, incentive programs for equine health, and funding of the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Equine Division and other law enforcement entities, that positive steps can be taken to help reduce and eventually eliminate this problem in our state.
We work with the GDA Equine Division and other law enforcement agencies to promote enforcement of equine protection laws and to provide support to them when horses are taken from irresponsible and abusive owners. This support includes providing feed, hay and other supplies for the four GDA equine facilities where horses are taken for care and rehabilitation after being removed from an abusive situation. We also provide foster homes, sponsor vaccination and castration clinics, provide speakers to educate the community and help find permanent loving homes for horses that have been rehabilitated. We work with horse owners who, due to job loss or illness, are struggling to properly care for their horses.
Thanks to this wonderful group of dedicated volunteers, we helped feed and vet over 87 horses last year. We have assisted the GDA by providing funds for veterinary care, hay, feed and supplies needed to maintain the state equine facilities. To date, GERL has provided the Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Division with over $560,000.
When the bottom dropped out of our economy in 2008, horses really began to suffer. People with fenced pasture would wake up in the morning and find a strange horse that had likely been put there by someone who could no longer care for it. Some owners reached out for help to organizations like GERL, but others just allowed their horses to starve and die. Just turn on the television or read a newspaper and it is likely there will be a story about horses being taken and owners being prosecuted. The GDA Equine Division alone seized 139 horses in 2011. This doesn’t count the horses that were taken by local law enforcement and animal control. There are 9.5 million horses in the United States with approximately 300,000 foals born every year. There are just not enough homes to care for all of the horses.
Yes, there are lots of opportunities to get involved. We are always looking for people who want to improve the quality of life for our equine friends who are not being properly cared for. You can do as much or as little as your time and resources allow. Any help is very much appreciated. The first thing you want to do is become a member of GERL so that you can be kept informed about upcoming events. Click on this link which will take you to a membership application. You can pay the fee via PayPal, or print out the membership application and mail the fee to Georgia Equine Rescue League,
P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA 30620.
We have a Volunteer Coordinator who keeps our members informed about what is going on and also about volunteer opportunities. Our webmaster also sends out flyers to all of our members and posts status updates on our Facebook page.
The following is a list of volunteer opportunities and things you can do to help GERL:
We are a non-profit organization with 501 (c)(3) status. All donations are tax deductible.
The membership fee is $25.00 per year for singles and $35.00 for a family. When you become a member, you will receive a quarterly newsletter to keep you informed about what is going on across the state of Georgia as it relates to equine rescue and events. If you provide an email address, we will notify you via email as well.
Your funds will be used for a variety of programs that GERL supports such as our Feed A Horse Program, Stallion to Gelding Program, and Winter Hay Program. You can donate via PayPal by clicking here, or print out the donation document and mail to Georgia Equine Rescue League, P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA 30620. You can also donate to GERL by making GoodSearch.com your home page and listing GERL as your charity. Every time you search using the GoodSearch search engine, GERL will receive money. This can add up fast! Just go to www.goodsearch.com and from the menu bar at the top select Tools->Internet Options; From the General tab click on “Use Current” button located under the Home page section. This will put the GoodSearch website address into the box. Click on “OK” at the bottom of the window to save changes. Goodsearch.com should be the page that appears when you open up your browser. Don’t forget to register and list GERL as your charity!
Here’s a wish list of items we always need: weight tapes, paste wormers (any type), gift certificates to Staples or Office Depot. For smaller items, you can mail them to Georgia Equine Rescue League, P. O. Box 328, Bethlehem, GA 30620. For bigger items, please send an email to GERL at: email@example.com
To donate items to the auction please contact GERL firstname.lastname@example.org. Our online auction has recently been automated and works similar to eBay. Each bidder will have to register with their user id and password. Specific bidding instructions will appear for each item listed.
Without dedicated individuals who are willing to foster and adopt these animals, many of the horses who need to be rescued would have nowhere to go and GERL would not be able to save them. To find out more about our Foster Care Program, please click here. To find out more about our Adoption Program, please click here. You will find documents that will answer your questions.
Each winter, we struggle to store enough hay to last us through the winter. Please contact the Area Coordinator for your area and let he or she know that you have a place to store hay. Please click here to view a list of Area Coordinators.
We often receive calls from people who are struggling in this current economy, requesting that we take their horses because they cannot afford to care for them any longer. In fact, there are so many such calls that it is impossible for all of the rescue organizations and/or the Georgia Department of Agriculture to be able to take them all. Here are some important facts that you should know and some suggested guidelines to follow if you are trying to find a new home for your horse:
1. MAKE A FLYER:
2. MAKE YOUR HORSE MARKETABLE:
3. ESTABLISH A PRICE:
4. ADVERTISE YOUR HORSE:
5. SCREENING POTENTIAL OWNERS:
6. PREPARE YOUR PAPERWORK: After you find a new owner for your horse you will need to sign a Release of Ownership or Bill of Sale. This does not have to be anything fancy and should state the following:
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Georgia Equine Rescue League
P.O. Box 328
Bethelhem, Ga 30520
To report a case of equine abuse, call the
Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Division
Monday - Friday | 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
404-656-3713 or 800-282-5852