I met up with Laura24 Kiranov, who is the Director of Public Relations for the RL Horsenet Rescue and is setting up the SL location. She told me that the organization is currently working with about 100 horses. “We are a registered 501c3 charity,” Kiranov said, “and are entirely run by volunteers and on donations.”
In SL, Kiranov’s first priority will be promoting the rescue and the adoption and sponsorship programs. Although adoptions are limited to people living close to the farms in Maryland, people anywhere can sponsor a horse for as little as $12.00 US per month. Sponsors are especially needed for approximately 15 blind or visually impaired horses that will remain at Horsenet as a permanent herd. Two of the horses, Rita and Bandit, are featured at the SL location. Bandit is a 30 year old, blind Appaloosa gelding. “We are one of the few rescues that help blind horses,” Kiranov explained.
Kiranov has been in and out of SL for a few years, but the ability to promote the Horsenet Rescue at the Nonprofit Commons has brought her back as a more active participant. “This is a good community and a new and fun way for us to promote our work. I thought it would be good to have something in SL,“ Kiranov said. The space at NPC is donated in return for her volunteer help, which makes it possible for Horsenet Rescue to be here. “Not too many people in my organization know much about SL,” she added, “so it’s going to be me, any help I can get from the NPC and anyone else I can find in SL to help.”
Currently the SL location is a work-in-progress. She has added a waterfall where you can relax. In the future Kiranov hopes to have more images and information available about the real horses at Horsenet.
Kiranov would welcome help from anyone with building or land skills. Item donations are welcome, too. Her future plans include getting displays of the horses up as well as adoption and sponsor information. She has also been in contact with other SL organizations that have similar rescue missions. Eventually she may have some events here.
Her main focus, however, is on helping the current rescued horses like Rita and Bandit. Along with Blaze, Fury, Lady, Pecos Pete, Rocket and others, these horses have been rescued from a variety of abusive and neglectful owners. “Right now we are closed to more surrenders by owners,” Kiranov said, “but we have been helping with some larger abuse cases, with the ASPCA and Humane Society, and with other rescue cases. Obviously the more horses that get adopted and/or sponsored, the more we can help.”
To see more of their horses, or to get additional information, check out their website at www.hnhr.org. They are also on Facebook and Youtube.