International Award for White Bird

Cover 2Part of the Sparky Herd April 2014

We are and pleased and humbled to announce that White Bird has been awarded the GFAS 2014 Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence for the Sparky Project, our ongoing large herd rescue project in northern Virginia.  This is a tremendous honor and we are grateful to the GFAS for this recognition.

This award is especially meaningful to us because, as a relatively small rescue, we sometimes struggle for resources and we are limited in the number of animals that we can take in. After all, we don’t want anyone to need to rescue them from us! When we were contacted about this herd, we knew we’d need to be very innovative in order to handle this large number of animals (and stallions!), especially as they were unhandled, many needed medical care and the site presented a number of challenges due to its large size, layout and topography, lack of fencing and occasional weather-related, impassible conditions. We also knew that we would need the support of the entire equine rescue community.

  And support we got! We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our fellow Virginia rescue organizations. We are fortunate to live in a state where the bar for rescues has been set so high. Some states have virtually no reliable organizations on which to draw.  Virginia has a wealth of rescues with many years of experience, and we are grateful to every one of you. We owe an equally large debt to the ASPCA, who unflinchingly granted us the funds to cover the substantial medical costs for this operation. Their generosity allowed us to concentrate on the rescue itself when the situation was urgent, rather than having to spend that time fundraising.  We thank the GFAS for helping us to get the word out about the need for assistance. We also appreciate our donors, who stepped up with hay and funding to help this effort succeed.

Last and most important, we’d like to thank our volunteers, trainers and fosters.  Simply stated, all organizations are made up of the people who actually do the work.  No catchy name, slogan or web site will ever take the place of the people who show up. These “boots on the ground” have worked many long hours in very stressful conditions to get these horses to safe havens.  And some do this every day, regardless of the time demands or weather, for only the satisfaction of knowing that  they are doing something important for horses who need their help. These folks are the lifeblood of any rescue, and they have been the lifeblood of the Sparky Project.

So, it gives us great pleasure to recognize the entire Sparky Project Team in receiving this Award.  You have literally been lifesavers.

 The Team

On Site Veterinary staff: Beth Eichberger, DVM, Ray Hyde, DVM, Hanina Hyde, EqDT

Loading and Transport: Chris Clendenin, Sam Jessee, Allie Sowden, Chyna Hudson-Berben, Mike Smith, Meredith Barlow, EqDT, Tina Gysin, JoAnne Miller, Sharon Hancock, Cindy Smith, Tom and Jorg Mayfield, Claudia Sadler

Site logistics and corrals: Chyna Hudson-Berben, Justin Berben, Mike Smith

Emergency Hay Donors: Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, Paul Frappollo, Alice Chitwood

Gelding Team:  Ray Hyde, DVM, Hanina Hyde, EqDT, Beth Eichberger, DVM, Tom Mayfield, Mike Smith, Chyna Hudson-Berben, Chris Clendenin, Tina Gysin, Dustin Berben

Training and handling at WB: Allie Sowden, Tina Gysin, Claudia Sadler, Tom Mayfield

White Bird’s Sparky Project Fosters: Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, Theresa Roark and Jamie and Wes Woodruff.

And the Assisting Rescues:  Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, Brook Hill Farm Sanctuary, Blue Horse Mukwa, Central Virginia Horse Rescue, Lily Pond Foal Rescue, Middleburg Humane Foundation and the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch of Murchison, Texas.

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