Central California SPCA builds new horse arena

FRESNO, Calif.

The Central California SPCA broke ground on a new arena at its equine center in Fresno this week - after rescuing close to thirty starving horses.

Thanks to more than $10 thousand in donations from people all over California, bulldozers made way for the construction of a new 80 by 175 foot arena at the Central California SPCA.

Beth Caffrey with the Central California SPCA said, "We are just thrilled, this is very exciting for us. We've wanted to build a corral back here for a very long time, so this is very heartwarming."

This as administrators work on a plan to build additional shelter for future neglected or unwanted horses.

Caffrey said, "There's a huge need for this, just because of the last two cases we've got and you can see we've got another horse that's just a stray."

A huge need, because the agency says it's rescued more horses in the last three months than it has in the last twenty years combined.

"Currently it has to do with the drought conditions in the states, particularly here in California," explained Caffrey.

It attributes part of the problem to a bad economy and a dry fall and winter. Once grassy fields are now bare earth. And where hay can be found - the price is double or triple last year's tally -- when feeding a horse cost about 150 to 200 dollars a month.

"A lot of times we see owners don't even think about that. Especially if they travel a lot or are in a different area the horses are in. They need to think about that," said Caffrey. "No rain means any grass."

The SPCA says other rescue organizations are also filling up fast. Therefore plans here include what the SPCA calls "shed row" - or the addition of four sets of covered stalls. It also consists of several temporary holding pens and a space to separate the mares from the stallions.

While the new shelter will help the agency accommodate an influx of animals - it wants to get the message out to horse owners to plan ahead and speak up if you need help caring for your horse.

Caffrey said, "Look at your next year, if you don't think you're going to be able to handle this, make arrangements now."

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