WATSONVILLE > Local nonprofit saves pregnant mares from pharmaceutical ranches
As president and founder of the nonprofit Pregnant Mare Rescue (PMR), Lynn Hummer devotes the extra time she has between her family, her day job, and her love for horses to doing some important work for the large, majestic animals. “I’ve been a horse lover all my life and I’ve ridden all my life and I just wanted to give back,” Hummer says.
PMR, which is based at Hummer’s ranch in Watsonville, works to rescue mares and foals who were victims of pharmaceutical testing, with the fate of being sent to slaughter.
Premarin, a drug used to treat menopause in women, is the primary culprit, says Hummer. Premarin ranches in the United States take mares, impregnate them continuously, use their urine in the drug’s manufacturing process, and then send their offspring to slaughter.
Jacqueline Cavalier Nelson, a volunteer for PMR, heard about Premarin many years ago while working in the pharmaceutical industry as a representative for the drug’s natural, plant-based competitor. “If women knew what they were taking, they wouldn’t,” Cavalier Nelson says. “The Premarin horses that came to us didn’t even know what a carrot was.”
Upon rescuing these horses, PMR gives them a safe place to have their babies, as well as “gentling” foals, getting them vet-checked, giving them everything they need to recover, as well as finding them good homes. Malibu, one of the mares who will be the star of the organization’s third annual “Breakfast with Babies” pancake breakfast benefit on Saturday, June 23, had nine babies in the 10 years she was used for Premarin development. She birthed a foal four weeks ago in custody of PMR—the baby, named Maddie, is the first baby she has been able to keep.
Hummer has made special arrangements to bring these damaged horses back to health. “The damage is physical, emotional, and spiritual,” she says. “Mares like Malibu are too [damaged] to find a new home. There aren’t enough days in her life to do much, [so] I just keep telling her that everyday from here on out will be good.” Hummer has specialists at the ranch that range from providing equine Reiki work, to equine chiropractics, equine massage therapy, and animal communication with the use of homeopathic floral essences.
Thus far, PMR has rescued about 80 horses. “The American people, when they’re told what’s going on, don’t want their American horses to be sent to slaughter,” says Hummer. “It’s necessary for us to let people know so that it doesn’t happen anymore. I want to create a legacy for the future so that [the rescue] lasts long beyond me.”
With its annual fundraising benefit, PMR hopes to spread this knowledge to even more people in the area. “Last year was our best year yet,” says Hummer, explaining that the 2011 benefit sold more than 380 breakfasts. The organization is aiming to sell 500 this year.
The benefit will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 165 Little Corral Way in Watsonville. At $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under, entry includes a pancake breakfast, a raffle drawing every half hour, craft vendors, and more, and will also feature some of the rescued horses. Those who purchase tickets before the event will be entered into a special raffle for a $130 basket of cooking items.
For more information, visit pregnantmarerescue.org.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PMR. Top: Malibu and her one-month old daughter, Maddie. Bottom: Maddie at the PMR ranch.