Message from the President
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Looking Back and Moving Forward
My two years at the helm of the Horse Council have been tremendously rewarding (and only occasionally frustrating). The Horse Journal, the only Sonoma County centric equine-related publication, has never looked better or been more informative. Our newly designed website is now up and running (as you can see!). The energy at the sold-out 2016 Equus Awards Banquet, where we honored six outstanding equine enthusiasts, was inspiring and the event raised funds to assist in our disaster preparedness efforts.
After nearly two years of planning, I think the large animal disaster preparedness committee expected the training of credentialed disaster service workers to be further along than it is. I remind myself that our progress, while slower than we would like and often behind the scenes, has been continual and is gaining momentum. I am reminded of a former neighbor, whose 50 lb. ‘house tortoise’ pushed relentlessly against any obstacle it encountered – such as a sofa – until the obstacle moved, allowing the tortoise to move forward. The Horse Council board and the Large Animal Disaster Preparedness Planning committee exhibit that degree of commitment and tenacity. Here are highlights of our accomplishments:
Sonoma County Animal Services received a grant to purchase a large animal rescue supply trailer. The SCHC has agreed to purchase some of the equipment needed to stock the trailer.
SCHC is partnering with Animal Services to purchase an Equine Articulated Training Mannequin for use by Animal Services and local fire districts. HALTER has purchased such a mannequin for Sonoma Valley first responders to use. Between the two, first responders in the North Bay should have ample training opportunities.
The SCHC is working with Animal Services to prepare an analysis of where horses, cattle, llamas, goats and other large animals are located in our County. This will assist Animal Services in allocating resources, including volunteers, in a disaster.
In 2017, the SCHC will offer courses on topics such as operating a large animal shelter and safe trailering practices. These courses will be required of credentialed volunteer disaster service workers. We are also scheduling seminars on topics such as trailer-loading and micro-chipping, to help large animal owners be better prepared for a disaster. Watch our website and Facebook page for details.
Your Horse Council is working tirelessly to protect the health and safety of equines and to support equestrian activities in Sonoma County. When equine enthusiasts speak with one voice, we are very powerful. Join the movement. Become a member today.
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The Sonoma County Horse Council was founded in 1993 to be a central organization to advocate for horse owners and businesses and to protect our mutual interests. The SCHC is a non-profit organization.
The central mission of the Horse Council is to promote the health and well being of horses and all aspects of the horse industry in Sonoma County:
Promote and preserve horse agriculture, industry and recreation in Sonoma County
Communicate to members on horse-related issues
Inform the public about horse community goals and projects
Support private and public equestrian facilities
Promote all aspects of the equine industry
Partnering with other organizations, such as the Farm Bureau and horse clubs, the Horse Council's role expanded to include monitoring regulations and legislation effecting the horse community and acting as a liaison with local government entities.