What happens when a horse or other large animal is abused, or the owner can no longer take care of it? What happens in the event a traveler is transporting large animals, and the trailer or towing vehicle is disabled? The answer most often lies with the folks at Appalachian Horse Help Rescue at 1201 Yerger Road, Linden. This worthy organization is seeking financial and volunteer help in order to continue to do the good work that they do.
The organization began humbly enough more than 20 years ago, when its founder Pam Koch and her husband, Norm, along with some support from the Arab el-Kabir Horse Club, started their efforts in a borrowed old cow barn from Howard Keller off Mahaffey Hollow Road.
“I didn’t realize at first there was such a need for help for horses and large animals from neglect, abuse, and abandonment in the area,” Pam Koch told Webb Weekly in a 2017 interview. “At the time, the SPCA didn’t have a trailer or room for horses or large animals, so AHHR was a huge help; same is true today. We help all large animals- have had cows, pigs, horses, goats, emu, sheep, and ducks in the barn.”
The Lycoming County emergency communications center has the AAHR’s contact information on file so that if a need arises for help with large animals as the result of a traffic accident or other incident, they know that AAHR can help.
They work with police and SPCAs in surrounding areas; they will help with disasters such as fire, floods, as well as 911 calls- for example, a horse loose on a highway.
The organization did all that was required to become a non-profit organization. The mission statement of the AHHR states: “The AHHR exists to offer help to horses and horse owners who find themselves in a situation where the basic needs of the animal cannot or are not being met. They offer shelter for horses and other animals too large to be housed by the local SPCA.”
AHHR does an extensive amount of community outreach with groups such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, PATH kids, HOPE Enterprise, and people who need credit for community service.
They have sought money in various ways, including the annual “Raise the Region” fundraiser that takes place to benefit area non-profit organizations. The service and compassion that is shown to these animals do not come cheaply. Or without a commitment of time by dedicated volunteers.
“We have to pay for the veterinarian and farrier when they first come in; vet service is not donated, nor is dentist or farrier,” Koch said. “It also costs a lot to feed these animals. Depending on the number of horses, which varies greatly and can change quickly (got in eight in one day before). Barn maintenance one year was $750, lights and phone were $800, and insurance was $1250; that’s over $200 a month just for upkeep of the facility. If anyone has good horse hay to donate, we are 501c3 and always need hay. We don’t get any funding from the SPCA or any state or local funding- We run entirely on volunteer help and donations.”
Donations are always needed and very welcome and much appreciated! Donations can be sent to 1201 Yerger Rd, Linden, PA 17744. You can also donate through PayPal on the website, horsehelp911.com, or visit the website for more information on donating, volunteering, or adopting.
They ALWAYS have a need for volunteers — the animals need attention, and they need help doing various chores and feeding twice daily.