THE EQUINE HEALTH AND WELFARE ALLIANCE, INC. (EHWA)
Who We Are and What We Want To Do
We feel the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, Inc. operates on several levels.
Sometimes this is a little difficult to grasp immediately, so we offer the “elephant a bite at the time”.
PRIMARY LEVEL: RESPONSIBILITY IN PERPETUITY
First, and the most lofty goal of EHWA, is a grass-roots effort to bring change to the way “the industry” views their responsibility in proper moral and ethical stewardship of the horse. It is the horse that just so happens to be the source or basis for “the industry’s” pleasure and/or economic survival, yet the horse is seldom the direct recipient of any rewards or compensation in any form for its sacrifice.
By “the industry”, we mean any entity (person or business) that touches the horse.
The horse is central to “the industry”. It is unfair to the horse to think of it in the reverse.
Although a mammoth undertaking, in so doing, “the industry” will be challenged to become creative in designing its own business model to accommodate a self-sustaining, perpetual vehicle for the ultimate support of health and welfare for the horse, which includes research.
EHWA has ideas as how to accomplish this goal.
We see it as an opportunity and an obligation.
The sustained, perpetual vehicles of support are not just confined to monies. Products and services can also serve as vehicles of support.
It is the creative design and goal of perpetuity that makes this different.
That is of smaller, less painful mechanisms that continue over longer periods of time.
We have likened it to the windmill, utilizing Nature’s energy, and the very small well-pipe pumping a trickle of water into a large stock tank day after day. The small trickle of water, for the moment, is inconsequential and may not support one individual. But over time, as the small stream never ceases filling, and often overflowing, the large reservoir of the tank, life will be sustained for the whole herd.
SECOND LEVEL: OPERATIONAL FUNDING AND SUPPORT
A second level of our mission is that of raising funds for needed operations or programs. We do not see ourselves as being the “end of the trail” for contributions, but actually and hopefully the “beginning of the trail” for a transparent, credible oversight of directing funds to qualified programs and research.
We do not want to operate rescue operations or do research. We want to support those efforts by directing funds or managing those funds to those who are qualified, have been regularly reviewed and approved.
None of us as founders take any compensation, however we do hope to be able to support an excellent administrative staff. So yes, there needs to be funds to operate.
While we want to have a regular series of benefits in support of our mission(s), these will have the dual purpose. The primary focus will be in continually raising awareness and, secondarily, in raising monies. The continued vigil of awareness should actually prove to be more valuable in the long run as the perpetual funding streams are be designed to generate the greatest amounts of support. Thus, the “benefit events” may not be designed to always reach a huge profit thus making it more palatable for donors who are continually campaigned. We would actually prefer to have benefits underwritten by corporate donors to reduce the burden on the individual.
We see “drives” or “campaigns” to raise monies for specific efforts as good, but all too often, “funders” becomes immune to the continual “begging”. Donations “in support of” are part of the regular requests for donors and charitable efforts. These events are often more prevalent in times of disaster, crisis or emergency situations, and serve only as the “band-aid” for the true problem which is a lack of a pool of sustained resources from which to draw.
Again, another analogy, fires will always occur and fires need to be put out. Yet, as it is today, we have no firehouse, no fire department, no long-term prevention or disaster plan.
We see this mission as building just that…the firehouse and the fire department with a disaster preparedness plan that extends beyond the “disaster” and focuses on prevention.
And it is the horse that is facing the disaster, not just “the industry”.
THIRD LEVEL: INTERACTION WITH STATE COUNCILS
The Equine Health and Welfare Alliance, Inc. is a Kentucky based 501 (c) 3 corporation. However, we intend to achieve national levels of activity.
With Kentucky serving as the starting point or launch pad, success in Kentucky will lead the way as a model for equine health care reform leaving other states to follow.
While we feel the broadness of our scope and “out of the box” approach, unique and exciting to us, it is the fact that we now have a state appointed Council, the Kentucky Equine Health and Welfare Council to aid in statutory reform and initiatives to improve equine welfare that is equally invigorating. This Council is the first of its kind to be legislated in this country. Lead to creation by EHWA and its supporters, and being specific to the horse, the Council makes Kentucky unique. We can now have interaction between the Council, a state entity, and EHWA (among others), as a private 501c3 entity, to facilitate a dialogue and mechanism of mutual support for improving equine health and welfare. Kentucky now serves as the template.
Example being, the state Council will seek its own funding streams for maintenance and projects it deems appropriate for the advancement of equine welfare. And, EHWA and/or other organizations can, through private sectored channels of funds and donations, help support the state projects as well as funding their own projects or research.
We see this as a win-win for the horse, and the state of Kentucky to serve as an example in raising the bar for a true commitment to equine welfare.