A press release from the Unwanted Horse Coalition says economic factors, including high hay costs, are among the reasons cited in news reports for a growing number of unwanted and abandoned horses in the U.S. Over the last month, articles in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have reported on an apparent increase in the numbers of unwanted horses. A recent headline in The Wall Street Journal read,"Leaner Pastures: As Horses Multiply, Neglect Cases Rise."

Regional newspapers and television stations have also reported that state agencies and horse rescue groups are seeing a growing number of horses that can no longer be cared for by owners. Some of the reports suggest that rescue groups are about to be overwhelmed and may have to start turning horses away. The articles blame the problem on factors such as sharply rising hay costs, the drought in many parts of the U.S., over-breeding, the downturn in the economy, the costs of euthanasia and carcass disposal and the closing of the nation's three slaughter facilities, which removed the floor on the value of horses.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition, which operates under the auspices of the American Horse Council, includes over 20 national organizations. It was created to educate horse owners and potential horse owners about what it means to "own responsibly." Learn more about the coalition at www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org, or call the American Horse Council at 202-296-4031.